Southampton: Shakib Al Hasan came, spun, and conquered, carrying Bangladesh to a comfortable 62-run win over Afghanistan that kept their semi-final aspirations alive at the 2019 World Cup.
Chasing a target of 263, Afghanistan were limited to a total of 200. They got substantial partnerships from their top order and were 104/2 at the start of the 29th over when Shakib dismissed Gulbadin Naib (47) and the dangerous Mohammad Nabi (0) off alternate deliveries.
Three overs later, Asghar Afghan became the fourth man to fall to Shakib and Afghanistan suddenly found themselves with half their batting lineup back in the hut. Shakib's next wicket was that of Najibullah Zadran (22) which ended a 56-run stand between him and and Samiullah Shinwari.
This made Shakib the first all-rounder to have 10 wickets to his name in World Cups while also scoring over 400 runs. He is also only the second player to have scored a 50 and taken five wickets in a World Cup match.
The ace all-rounder continued his purple patch in the ongoing World Cup with a 69-ball 51 with the bat before returning to wreck havoc with the ball as he scalped five wickets for just 29 runs from his 10 overs.
Chasing the target of 263 runs to win, Afghanistan openers Gulbadin Naib and Rahmat Shah provided a solid start to the team with good attacking stroke play. At the end of 10 overs, Afghanistan were comfortable placed at 48/0, when Shakib was introduced into the attack.
Shakib struck in only his fourth ball, removing Rahmat Shah before Gulbadin Naib's 75-ball 47 kept his team in the hunt. Shakib returned in his fifth over and removed Naib off the first ball and two balls later, castled Mohammad Nabi to set the cat amongst the pigeons in the Afghan camp.
Samiullah Shenwari, playing his first game of the competition notched up a fighting 51-ball unbeaten 49 but in the end, Shakib Al Hasan's magical figures of 5/29 off 10 overs including a maiden stole the limelight that helped skittle out Afghanistan for 200 from 47 overs.
Earlier, Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib won the toss and decided to bowl first. Liton Das and Tamim Iqbal provided a steady start before Mujeeb Ur Rahman dismissed Das for 16. Shakib Al Hasan arrived at the crease and looked positive on a tough batting pitch.
At the end of the first power play, the experienced duo of Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan continued to take singles and found the occasional boundaries. Mohammad Nabi got the second breakthrough, dismissing Tamim Iqbal for 36 after the duo had added 59 runs for the second wicket.
Mushfiqur Rahim came to the crease and made the batting look easy against the top quality spinners of Afghanistan. Shakib Al Hasan played with positive footwork while Rahim looked comfortable. The all-rounder reached his fifty off 66 balls but fell soon after as Mujeeb Ur Rahman struck, getting the wicket of Shakib for 51.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman struck again to send Soumya Sarkar back to the pavilion that put Bangladesh under pressure. Mahmudullah's injury did not help the cause but he continued to bat on. Rahim, at the other end, continued to play with positive intent and reached his fifty off 56 balls.
Mosaddek Hossain provided the impetus for Bangladesh with a quick fire 35 off 27 balls as he and Mushfiqur Rahim put up a 44-run partnership in 33 balls that took Bangladesh to a competitive total of 262/7 from 50 overs.
In the end, Mushfiqur Rahim's valiant 87-ball 83 and an all-round performance from standout player Shakib Al Hasan sufficed as Bangladesh cruised home comfortably in the end.