Bangladesh keep hopes alive in front of another packed Ageas Bowl
Bangladesh and Afghanistan brought the curtain down on the Ageas Bowl's World Cup participation in front of another packed house.
In the final group game on the south coast Afghanistan ended up easy prey for the Tigers, who kept their semi-final hopes alive with a 62-run win A crowded ground took the attendance figures above 85,000 for the five games at the venue. Winning the toss, Afghanistan invited Bangladesh to bat first after a short delay due to a wet outfield. The Tigers reached 23 without loss from the opening four overs, before Afghanistan struck the first blow. Off-spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman (three for 39) had Liton Das caught at short cover. A review showed that the diving Hashmatullah Shahidi just managed to get his fingers under the ball. At the end of the first power play, Bangladesh posted 44 runs without further loss. Shakib Al Hasan (51) continued his tremendous World Cup form by notching yet another 50-plus score – his fifth in six innings. He shared in two vital 50-run partnerships with Tamim Iqbal (36) and Mushfiqur Rahim (83). Once again he became the leading run scorer in the competition, passing David Warner's 448 runs. Although boundaries were hard to come by, the Bangladesh batsmen rotated the strike brilliantly to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Mujeeb dragged Afghanistan back into the game when he dismissed Shakib and Soumya Sarkar, both lbw, in the space of two overs. Mossaddek Hossain crashed 35 runs off 24 balls to give the innings good momentum at the end. Afghanistan made a solid start to their reply, reaching 48 without loss in the opening power play. Once Rahmat Shah fell, easily caught at cover, the Afghans fell behind the required rate failing to score from 23 of 30 balls. Gulbadin Naib (47) continued to anchor the innings but accelerating the run rate continued to prove difficult. Two wickets in three balls in the 29th over for Shakib (five for 29), including Naib, it looked increasingly impossible for Afghanistan. Samiullah Shinwari (49 not out) and Najibullah Zadran (23), however, refused to give it up putting on a 50-run partnership in 41 balls. In the end Afghanistan fell well short bowled out for 200 runs.