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Result: Shakib on fire again as Bangladesh inch closer to semi-finals with Afghanistan win

Result: Shakib on fire again as Bangladesh inch closer to semi-finals with Afghanistan win
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The all-rounder hit a half-century and claimed the best figures of the tournament.

Shakib Al Hasan's all-round brilliance inspired Bangladesh to a 62-run victory over Afghanistan to move the Tigers to within one point of England in the World Cup standings.

The 32-year-old has been in the form of his life this month, his 51 from 69 balls on a challenging surface at the Hampshire Bowl the fifth time in six tournament innings he has surpassed a half-century.

Mushfiqur Rahim top-scored with 83 in Bangladesh's 262 for seven before Shakib took centre stage once more, becoming the first bowler from his country to take a five-wicket World Cup haul.

His five for 29, the best figures of the tournament so far, saw Afghanistan subside to 200 all out after 47 overs, slumping to a seventh successive defeat on the same wicket in which they came within 12 runs of causing a monumental upset against India at the weekend.

Bangladesh, meanwhile, live to fight another day, moving up to fifth in the table though victories in their final two games against India and Pakistan would not be enough to guarantee progression to the knockout stages.

Already they are relying on slip-ups from those above them after three defeats in their campaign to date, but they delivered a polished performance on the south coast against a potential banana skin of an opponent.

They were asked to bat first, a curious decision on a worn pitch, though Mujeeb would make early inroads, taking the first of his three wickets when Liton Das drove uppishly to short cover.

Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 24, 2019

Replays were unable to conclusively prove the ball had bounced before Hashmatullah Shahidi took a low catch so the soft signal of 'out' stood, meaning Liton, replacing Soumya Sarkar at the top of the order, had to walk.

Tamim Iqbal and Shakib were circumspect on a pitch with appreciable turn for Mujeeb, Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan but were able to rotate the strike efficiently.

Tamim was bowled for 36 by Nabi, missing a cut to one that did not turn, while immediately afterwards, Shakib successfully overturned an lbw decision off Rashid, with technology showing the ball would have missed the stumps.

There were few big hits but Shakib still went to another fifty in an innings where he leapfrogged Australia's David Warner at the top of the run-scoring charts and became the first Bangladesh batsman to 1,000 World Cup runs.

  • Shaqib Al Hasan - five for 29, Bangladesh v Afghanistan
  • Mohammad Amir - five for 30, Pakistan v Australia
  • James Neesham - five for 31, New Zealand v Afghanistan
  • Mitchell Starc - five for 46, Australia v West Indies
  • Oshane Thomas - four for 27, West Indies v Pakistan

However, he was lbw soon after to Mujeeb's carrom ball, beaten on the inside edge, while a similar delivery from the young turner accounted for Soumya.

Mushfiqur followed up his century against Australia last time out by holding the innings together here. An industrious 87-ball knock contained plenty of hard running alongside Mahmudullah and Mosaddek Hossain.

Mahmudullah required treatment on his right calf early into his innings and, perhaps sensing the need to accelerate, Mushfiqur came out of his crease and thumped Dawlat Zadran for the only six of the innings over long-on, taking him to a 56-ball half-century.

Mosaddek contributed a breezy 35 from 24 balls, aided slightly by some poor ground fielding from Afghanistan, before both he and Mushfiqur were dismissed as the innings wound to a close.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman, centre, had earlier taken three wickets for Afghanistan (Adam Davy/PA)
Mujeeb Ur Rahman, centre, had earlier taken three wickets for Afghanistan (Adam Davy/PA)

At first glance it seemed a competitive total though Gulbadin Naib and Rahmat Shah put on 49 before the breakthrough came when the latter swiped Shakib to a back-peddling Tamim Iqbal at mid-on.

Shahidi made a tortured 11 before he was stumped off Mosaddek, while Shakib had Gulbadin caught at short cover for 47 before bowling Afghanistan dangerman Nabi through the gate for a second-ball duck.

By the time Asghar Afghan had holed out in the deep, Shakib had three wickets in the space of 14 balls as Afghanistan toppled from 104 for two to 117 for five.

Shakib then ended an irksome 56-run stand between Samiullah Shinwari (49no) and Najibullah Zadran (23), who missed a full-blooded slog and was stumped by Mushfiqur, to end any flickering hopes Afghanistan had of an unlikely win.

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