Afghanistan has moved up to No. 4 in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League table after their crushing seven-wicket victory over hosts Bangladesh in the third and final One-Day International. Though Bangladesh had clinched the series before the third ODI, taking an unassailable 2-0 lead, Afghanistan, thanks to the win in the final ODI, is now on 70 points, just nine short of India, who is at No.3.
Bangladesh continues to lead the table with 100 points, while England is second on 95. In the final ODI, Afghanistan, after bowling out Bangladesh for 192, chased down the total effortlessly with 59 balls to spare.
Afghanistan’s openers got off to a terrific start, displaying good form and picking boundaries right from the start of their innings. Openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (106 not out) and Riaz Hassan (35) added 57 runs in the first 10 overs and continued to carry on the momentum forward on Monday night.
Bangladesh knew they needed to do something special to defend the total, so they brought in the spinners early. Although the plan didn’t work at the start, Shakib Al Hasan managed to break the 79-run opening partnership in the 16th over, stumping out Riaz Hassan for 35.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz was joined in the middle by Rahmat Shah, and the two continued to play sensibly, laying the foundation for an easy-run chase. Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who was lucky to get three lifelines, made full use of the reprieves as he got to his third ODI century.
Both the batters approached the target with the right mindset and picked boundaries at the right time. While Rahmanullah Gurbaz slowly approached his third century, the handy knock of 67-ball 47 from Rahmat Shah came to an end in the 36th over when Mehidy Hasan Miraz got the better of him.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz got another in his very next over, dismissing Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi (2) after he had survived a leg-before wicket appeal off the previous delivery. However, Rahmanullah Gurbaz soon brought up his century in the 39th over, finishing the chase in 40.1 overs and winning the last ODI by seven wickets.
Liton Das’ 86 Went In Vain
In the first half, Liton Das was the only batter to stand up. He made 86 off 113 balls, a polished knock that included seven fours. As with most of Liton Das’ innings, he struck the ball well through the covers and midwicket and worked it around the dial although wickets fell around him.
Brief scores: Bangladesh 192 in 46.5 overs (Liton Das 86, Shakib Al Hasan 30; Rashid Khan 3/37) lost to Afghanistan 193/3 in 40.1 overs (Rahmanullah Gurbaz 106 not out, Riaz Hassan 35, Rahmat Shah 47) by seven wickets.