In the opener of the World T20 2014, Bangladesh stepped up and delivered a professional performance.
An easy win against Afghanistan, a team that had defeated them in the recently concluded Asia Cup, will make life easier for the Tigers who had been under pressure coming into the big tournament.
Afghanistan found themselves on the back foot right from the first ball as Mohammad Shehzad was dismissed by Mashrafe Mortaza, giving Bangladesh the perfect start after Mushfiqur had won the toss and put Afghanistan in to bat.
A few lusty blows by Gulbadin Naib and Najeeb Tarakai were not enough for the Afghans as the Bangladeshi spinners maintained a firm grip on proceedings. Tight spells by Shakib Al-Hasan, Mahamadullah and Abdur Razzak ensured that Afghanistan lost wickets at regular intervals and were not able to score quickly.
Mushfiqur’s decision to bowl first paid dividends as Bangladesh bowled Afghanistan out for 72, their best ever performance in a T20 game.
The bowling effort made the chase a formality as Bangladesh coasted to victory led by Anamul Haque’s unbeaten 44 off 31 balls. Another encouraging sign for them was that Tamim Iqbal looked in good touch which should hold them in good stead for the rest of the tournament.
Interestingly this was Bangladesh’s first international win since the 3rd of November, 2013.