Shakib hits fifty, takes fifer and smiles away to victory

Shakib Al Hasan became the second cricketer after Yuvraj Singh to pick a five-for and score a half-century in a World Cup game as Bangladesh beats Afghanistan by 62 runs.

Shakib Al Hasan celebrates the wicket of Afghanistan's Najibullah Zadran in Southampton on Monday.   -  REUTERS

 

There’s no stopping Shakib Al Hasan! The 32-year-old dished out another all-round show — 51 in 69 balls, followed by a five-wicket haul (5/29) — as Bangladesh defeated Afghanistan by 62 runs in the World Cup fixture here on Monday.

After putting up a modest 262-7 at the Hampshire Bowl, Bangladesh bundled out the opponent for 200 to climb up to the fifth spot in the points table.

Chasing a rather tricky total on a slow track, Afghanistan got off to a steady start with captain Gulbadin Naib (47) and Rahmat Shah (24) forging a 49-run partnership.

Shakib Al Hasan (left) clashes with Afghanistan's captain Gulbadin Naib as he attempts to catch the ball.   -  AFP

 

But things changed with Shakib packing off Rahmat. Though Naib looked determined to play a big innings, he was dismissed by Shakib, soon after Afghanistan crossed the 100-run mark.

Rahmat Shah in action against Bangladesh.   -  AP

 

After his exit, even the middle-order collapsed.

Following his gritty half-century against India in the last outing, expectations were high from Mohammad Nabi. But Shakib struck again, cleaning up Nabi for a duck.

As it happened| Bangladesh vs Afghanistan

Though Samiullah Shinwari (49*) and Najibullah Zadran (23) stitched a 56-run partnership towards the end, it was not enough for Afghanistan.

The day, however, belonged to Shakib, who achieved three personal milestones: emerging as the highest run-getter in the tournament (476); becoming the first Bangladesh batsman to cross 1,000 run-mark in World Cups.

He also became the second international cricketer — after Yuvraj Singh — to score a half-century and claim a five-for in a World Cup fixture.

Earlier in the day, Mushfiqur Rahim contributed with a classy 83 to put Bangladesh on track. He stitched 61 runs with Shakib for the third wicke to lay the foundation for a decent score on a surface that looked difficult to bat on.

In a batting reshuffle, Bangladesh promoted Liton Das to open the innings along side Tamim Iqbal (36), but the move did not click as Das fell for 16 after being caught at cover off Mujeeb ur Rahman.

Tamim and Shakib then shared a 59-run stand before Nabi cleaned up the former, leaving Bangladesh at 82 for two in 17 overs. Rahim crafted his knock with four boundaries and a six to ensure that the team went past the 200-run mark after Shakib’s dismissal by Mujeeb.

Rahim came close to scoring a century, but he was sent back to the pavilion by Dawlat Zadran.

However, Mosaddek Hossain (35 off 24) provided the much-needed fireworks in the death overs, taking the total past 250.

For Afghanistan, Mujeeb (3/39) was the pick of the bowlers.

On the eve of the match, Afghanistan captain Naib had cheekily warned Bangladesh of an upset. But with Shakib standing tall, it was Bangladesh all the way.

Doubts over Mahmudullah

Even as Bangladesh clinched a win, doubts remained over the availability of key batsman Mahmudullah Riyad for the remainder of the tournament. He suffered a calf injury while batting and did not take the field later.