Afghanistan lose to Bangladesh on World Cup debut

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport in Canberra
Bangladesh's Rubel Hossain celebrates a wicket
Rubel Hossain helped reduce Afghanistan to 3-3 and later injured his knee taking a catch
World Cup Pool A, Canberra:
Bangladesh 267 (50 overs): Mushfiqur 71, Shakib 63
Afghanistan 162 (42.5 overs): Samiullah 42, Mortaza 3-20
Bangladesh won by 105 runs

Afghanistan's historic first World Cup match ended in a 105-run defeat by Bangladesh in Canberra.

Chasing 268, the Afghans did not recover from being 3-3 after three overs and were bowled out for 162.

They had earlier acquitted themselves well with the ball, reducing Bangladesh to 119-4 and claiming six wickets for 34 runs at the end of the innings.

Mushfiqur Rahim (71) and Shakib Al Hasan (63) helped the Test side to 267 and ensured they avoided an upset.

For Afghanistan, becoming the 20th team to take part in a World Cup is the continuation of a remarkable journey that has been set against the backdrop of continuing conflict in their homeland.

In 2008 they were playing in the fifth and bottom tier of the International Cricket Council's world league but have since qualified for this tournament, two World Twenty20s and will soon have the chance to earn Test status.

Here, their pace bowlers showed that they possess the quality to compete in Pool A, where England and Scotland also await.

Ex-England batter Ebony Rainford-Brent on Test Match Special:
"Bangladesh will be delighted with their victory. They could cause an upset against an England side that are hit and miss. The group is strong with Australia and New Zealand, but they will be looking at touching up England and Scotland. Sneak a couple of wins and they will think they can do well in this group."

The only previous one-day international between these two sides was won by Afghanistan and there were occasions in the Bangladesh innings that hinted at a repeat.

Asked to bowl on a slowish pitch, the Afghan accuracy was rewarded as the economical Mirwais Ashraf found seam movement to dismiss both Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque, while the lively Shapoor Zadran ended a stand of 50 between Soumya Sarkar and Mahmudullah.

And, in the final overs, Hamid Hassan and Aftab Alam returned to bowl full and straight to run through the tail.

But, in between, Afghanistan became ragged as Mushfiqur, strong square of the wicket, and Shakib, who scored through 360 degrees, first rebuilt and then accelerated in a stand of 114.

Still, the target did not seem out of reach at the interval, only for a horrible start to the Afghanistan chase to effectively end the contest.

Javed Ahmadi got a leading edge to be caught and bowled, while Ashgar Stakikzai flashed to first slip, both off Mashrafe Mortaza, either side of Rubel Hossain shooting one through to pin Afsar Zazai lbw.

Captain Mohammad Nabi made 44 and Samiullah Shinwari 42 to ensure respectability, but the final five wickets fell for 26 runs.

"We were under the pressure as the favourites and expected to win the game," said man of the match Mushfiqur.

"But in a World Cup anyone can win any game. Hopefully we will carry on that momentum into the next game."

Listen to highlights from Test Match Special's and 5 live Sport's 2015 Cricket World Cup coverage

Afghanistan celebrate a wicket
Left-arm paceman Shapoor Zadran (centre) took 2-20 from seven overs for Afghanistan
Bangladesh's Mushfiqur Rahim hits out
Mushfiqur Rahim (71) played the crucial innings for Bangladesh, adding 114 with Shakib Al Hasan (63)
The scoreboard shows Afghanistan 3-3
Afghanistan lost wickets in each of their first three overs
Mohammad Nabi
Mohammad Nabi's 44 from 43 balls briefly gave Afghanistan hope
Afghan shopkeepers watch their country's World Cup debut
Afghanistan's World Cup debut was watched by plenty of fans back home - including these shopkeepers in Kabul

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