Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan said they did exactly what they wanted to do to keep them in the race of the Super 4 of Asia Cup.
Playing a near perfect cricket, Bangladesh crushed Afghanistan by 89 runs at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahor and boosted their net run rate so much so that there is hardly any chance they would be out of the Asia Cup from this position.
Afghanistan now need a miracle if they want to go through Super 4 but it they really could beat Sri Lanka by big margin, that would affect Sri Lanka’s run rate. So whatever happens, Bangladesh would be in safe zone.
Thanks to a century each from Mehidy Hasan Miraz (112) and Najmul Hossain Shanto (104), Bangladesh racked up a mammoth 334-5, their third highest total in ODI cricket and then bowled out Afghanistan for 245 in 44.3 overs, thanks to a brilliant bowling effort of new ball bowlers Taskin Ahmed (4-44) and Shoriful Islam (3-36).
“We played really well all-round, it was a good toss to win. It wasn’t easy to play in the heat,” Shakib said in the post match presentation.
“Miraz and Shanto played really well and they set it up for us. The fast bowlers have been bowling really well. This win will give them a lot of confidence. We tried our best in this game, maybe not in the first game, but we gave our best in this one.”
Shakib said Miraz’s record against Afghanistan prompted them to send him as makeshift opener.
“We knew Miraz had the ability and he has a good record against Afghanistan. So he was sent in opening and it worked well for us.”
Miraz whose career-best knock earned him the man of the match award, said, he was happy to pay off the belief the team management put in on him.
“The team management believed in me so I played well today. It was a good wicket, the ball was coming well on to the bat nicely,” Miraz said.
“It was an excellent partnership between Shanto and I. He has played well in back-to-back games. We rotated the strike nicely. When the conditions are hot you tend to cramp up, like I did today.”
Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi said losing wickets at regular intervals was instrumental in their defeat in the match.
“I thought the target was chaseable. The outfield was quick and the target was chaseable, but we lost wickets,” he said.
“Their bowlers were good in the beginning, and our run rate was really low, that’s why we couldn’t win. We need to improve in all the departments. Today our bowling was not good enough, neither was our fielding.”