Bangladesh beat Afghanistan by 6 wickets in its third match of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup India's Dharamshala on Saturday.
After being rattled early on in their innings, Bangladesh managed to gain ascendancy in their contest against Afghanistan. They were assisted by some errors made by Afghan fielders in the crease.
Earlier, Bangladesh bowlers showed top form against Afghanistan and bowled out their Asian rivals for 156. Shakib Al Hasan (3/30), Mehidy Hasan Miraz (3/25), and Shoriful Islam (2/34) starred with the ball.
Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz top-scored for Afghanistan with 47, but he received little support from his teammates.
Defending a modest target of 157, Afghanistan got the near perfect start at the back of some sharp work in the field. A direct hit from Najibullah Zadran caught Tanzid Hasan (5) short of his ground in the fifth over. A couple of overs later, Fazalhaq Farooqi bowled Litton Das.
Afghanistan missed out on a close third chance, when Mehidy Hasan Miraz was dropped off the bowling of Farooqi. This, and another drop off his bat in the 12th over, helped Mehidy to get his groove in and take the Bangladesh innings ahead.
The all-rounder had struck four out of seven boundaries for his side, and was closing in on his half-century by the 20 over mark.
The Afghanistan openers made a fast start and reached 47 without loss until Ibrahim Zadran (22) was caught off the bowling of Shakib following a mis-timed sweep into the deep.
Afghanistan were still well-placed at the end of the Powerplay on 50/1 with Gurbaz building a composed innings.
Rahmat Shah (18) joined Gurbaz at the crease and they took the score to 83 before Shakib struck again with the first ball after the drinks break.
Afghanistan looked set to make the most of a patient approach until Bangladesh hit back to dismiss Hashmatullah Shahidi (18) and then claim the big wicket of Gurbaz (47) both with the score on 112.
Afghanistan's slide continued beyond the middle over mark. Shakib struck in the 29th over to clean up Najibullah Zadran. In the very next over, aggressive all-rounder Mohammed Nabi was bowled by Taskin Ahmed.
Afghanistan's hopes then rested on their all-round star, Rashid Khan. And a 24-run stand for the seventh wicket seemed to stabilize the Afghanistan innings. However, Rashid's loss in the 35th over to Mehidy Hasan Miraz, ended their resistance. The tail failed to wag, and added merely six runs after Rashid's dismissal.
Bangladesh and Afghanistan are having their first taste of action at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.
Shakib was in doubt for the opener after sitting out the warm-up matches in India, but was named to lead the side as they look to improve on their record of only progressing to the knockout stages once before at a Cricket World Cup.
The Bangladesh captain will enter his fifth Cricket World Cup after first appearing in the showpiece event in 2009, and sent Afghanistan in to bat with a view to the venue being one where teams often chase down their target in ODIs.
"It's chasing ground and there should be some help for seamers early on," Shakib said after winning the toss.
Hashmatullah Shahidi will hope Afghanistan can build a strong total in the first innings following the strong start from Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran.
The Afghanistan captain will later turn to a spin triple-threat that is as capable of attacking with the new ball as defending a lead in the dying stages.
Afghanistan boast three of the top-10 in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Bowling Rankings, with Mujeeb Ur Rahman currently leading the way from third in the rankings.
The mercurial Rashid Khan is next best in fourth place, while Mohammad Nabi rounds out the top 10 bowlers and can also make enough of an impact with the bat to be second in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI All-rounder Rankings.
Shakib holds top spot among ODI all-rounders in the latest rankings, with the Bangladesh sure to be pivotal in trying to restrict the flow of Afghanistan runs through the middle overs.
Litton Das, Tanzid Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Shakib Al Hasan (c), Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Towhid Hridoy, Mahmudullah, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Mustafizur Rahman
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi