Bangladesh avenged the Asia Cup defeat versus Afghanistan as they beat the minnows hands down yesterday in the World Cup.
Batting first under seaming conditions, the Bangladeshi openers were not too eager to score runs.
The focus was more on not to go fishing outside the off stump and let as many balls go as possible and it was a pretty good idea actually. To see off the early part when the ball is moving is very important in New Zealand.
Bangladesh never really cared about the low run rate. They had done their homework on the conditions. They knew the rate could be achieved later if there were wickets in the kitty and that’s what exactly happened.
The openers though did not get much on the board, but, because of the fact that they had got the shine off the two new balls, it became easy for the middle order to stroke the ball freely straightaway.
The likes of Shakib and Mushfiq played good hands and Bangladesh probably got the score they wanted to get.
Batting is Afghanistan’s weak link. So, going past 260 was pretty challenging for them and it became almost impossible at the stage when they lost three of their players at the score of 3.
Bangladeshi bowlers were onto the money from get go. The captain himself led the way. Bowling at a lively pace and making the ball nibble just enough off the seam, Mashrafe Mortaza was quite hard to handle for the opposition.
Rubel Hossain and young Taskin Ahmed did not let the grip loosen up either from their ends. Continuous pressure resulted in Afghan batsmen playing some release shots and getting back to the hut.
It was the kind of performance Bangladesh would have dreamt to start with. They would now move to Queensland to take on Australia.