Bangladesh rose to fifth and remain in contention for a semi-final berth with a 62-run win against Afghanistan. Shakib Al Hasan's half-century and tournament-best five-wicket haul defined a dominant performance.
In Southampton on Monday, 24 June, on the same ground where they kept India to 224/8 and two days after the team came close to an upset, Afghanistan's spinners found plenty of purchase; however, they were less successful than last time. Shakib held firm, Mushfiqur Rahim made a fighting 87-ball 83, while a brisk 24-ball 35 cameo from Mosaddek Hossain lifted Bangladesh to 262/7, before they bowled Afghanistan out for 200 in 47 overs.
After his captain chose to bowl on a used surface, Mujeeb ur Rahman again impressed with the new ball. Liton Das, promoted to open, fell in the fifth over, the third umpire agreeing with the on-field call that Hashmatullah Shahidi at cover had taken a clean catch diving forward.
The rub of the green went Bangladesh's way when Shakib Al Hasan, on 26, was given out leg before to Rashid Khan to one that kept straight, only for DRS to show it was going over. He made the most of the reprieve, going on to build two half-century stands for the second and third wickets before Mujeeb trapped him in front with one that turned into the left-hander.
Mushfiqur was smart against the spinners, using his feet well and scything through the field. A strong total was made a winning one by Mosaddek's flourish and Afghanistan's poor fielding through the morning.
Unlike Afghanistan, Bangladesh didn't bowl any spin in the Powerplay overs; but when they did, it turned the game decisively. Shakib came on in the 11th over and immediately got a breakthrough, while Mehidy Hasan and Mosaddek kept the batsmen quiet.
Aggressive fields from Mashrafe Mortaza, including a silly point, created chances and fielders held onto them – and Shakib was in the middle of it all. In his fifth over, he denied Gulbadin Naib a half-century when he had him caught by Das at short extra cover, while Mohammad Nabi was done in by flight.
From 117/5 there was no coming back for Afghanistan. Shakib, who rose to the top of the batting charts with his effort earlier in the day, added Asghar Afghan and Najibullah Zadran to his tally, his 5/29 just ahead of Mohammad Amir's 5/30 as this edition's best figures so far.
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