4:42 pm - Monday January 18, 4044

Tigers start perfect

Bangladesh exorcised pre-World Cup ghosts with a commanding 105-run victory over Afghanistan at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Wednesday.

sakib_pc3The Tigers faithful was not at ease after four straight losses prior to the tournament, but Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and boys rose to the occasion as they kicked off their World Cup in style.

Winning the toss, skipper Mashrafe chose to bat first. His openers made a decent start, but Mirwais Ashraf then struck twice in quick succession, baffling Tamim Iqbal (19) and Anamul Haque (29).

Soumya Sarkar and Mahmudullah then added 50 in the third-wicket partnership, but it was Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim who helped Bangladesh take control.

Man-of-the-match Mushfiq was the more aggressive one, as he hit 71 in just 56 balls while Shakib blasted 63 off 51 deliveries. Coincidentally, both of them hit six fours and one six.

Mashrafe then made 14 in 9 balls as Bangladesh posted a comfortable score of 267, being all out in the last ball of the innings.

In reply, the Afghans were rattled by the Bangladesh fast bowlers, losing three wickets in the first three overs.

Mashrafe was the most venomous, as he picked two in his first spell of six overs, conceding only 10 runs.

Nawroz Mangal (27) and Samiullah Shenwari (42) then tried to put up some resistance, but an excellent catch by Rubel Hossain and quick fielding from Sabbir Rahman cut their efforts short.

Captain Mohammad Nabi then tried to have a go on the Bangladesh bowlers, but his 43-ball 44 was brought to an end by Mashrafe.

Shakib bagged two wickets to mark an all-round performance while Taskin Ahmed, Rubel and Mahmudullah picked one wicket each.

Bangladesh will play their next match against hosts Australia in Brisbane on February 21.

-Prothom Alo