Bangladesh beat Afghanistan first-timers
Afghanistan's much-heralded first Cricket World Cup match ended in defeat yesterday when Bangladesh took three early wickets for three runs on the way to beating the fledgling side by 105 runs.
Afghanistan thrilled thousands of flag-waving expatriates at Manuka Oval earlier in the day by making a promising start to their debut match in the 50-over tournament, taking four early wickets and then rallying after Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim combined for a 114-run partnership to bowl Bangladesh, which won the toss, out for 267.
But Afghanistan were never in the match in reply, failing to hit their first boundary until the 10th over and requiring an unlikely nine runs per over with 15 overs to go. They were all out for 162 runs in 42.5 overs.
"We're disappointed with our performance today. That isn't a true reflection of how we play," Afghanistan's English coach Andy Moles said. "But in any game of cricket, when you're three for three ... not many teams can come back from that. We had a couple of good partnerships, but then they didn't go on long enough."
Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi, who spent time in a Pakistan refugee camp, top-scored with 44 runs before being removed by fellow skipper Mashrafe Mortaza, the Bangladesh bowler's third wicket of the night.
Earlier, fast bowler Mirwais Ashraf took Afghanistan's first World Cup wicket, having Tamim Iqbal (19) acrobatically caught by wicketkeeper Afsar Zazai to end a 47-run opening stand. Bangladesh slipped to 52-2 when Ashraf struck again, trapping Anamul Haque (29) lbw, and to 119-4 in the 30th after Shapoor Zadran (2-20) removed Soumya Sarkar (28) and Mahmudullah (23).
Veterans Mushfiqur (71) and Shakib (63) restored the innings for Bangladesh before both were dismissed in a late collapse, with Afghanistan taking three wickets in the last seven balls.