If Tigers go on to win the second game of the 3-match ODI series against Afghanistan on September 28, Mashrafe and his boys will create history by notching up the 100th win in ODI matches for Bangladesh.
‘If Bangladesh succeeds tomorrow, the 100th win will be a remarkable achievement, and I want to reach this milestone in the next match and clinch the series,” Mashrafe explained when he spoke to the media today. “We look forward to play positive cricket, and hopefully the problems we had earlier will not affect our performance in the games ahead.”
Tigers lead the series 1-0 after pulling off a close victory in the opening match of the series on Sunday. Bangladesh edged the contest by just seven runs as the Afghans outlined their credentials with a creditable performance.
Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan made 48 from 40 balls when the rest of his teammates were struggling to time the ball properly. He was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 26/2 in his 10 overs. His spell with Taskin Ahmed and Rubel Hossain’s late heroics arguably won the match for Bangladesh.
The south-paw from Magura will be the key player for Bangladesh with both bat and ball as things stand. His quick runs will be an asset for his side and his bowling is likely to win many matches for Bangladesh at home. Mashrafe kept the gung-ho Afghan batsmen in check for most of his ten overs, while Taijul Islam looked decent as the second specialist left-arm spinner.
Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes and Mahmudullah looked in good form but need to up the ante when needed. However, Bangladesh fans would like to see some fireworks from Soumya Sarkar top of the order and Mushfiqur Rahim’s lustly blows late in the innings.
Afghanistan need not be too disappointed with their performance in the first match, although they need to pull up their socks in terms of fielding. Their inexperience became evident when the pressure got to them, and they will be looking to close out the game more efficiently in the future. If the Afghan top-order can fire in all cylinders, Bangladesh will find it quite challenging to overcome their opponents.
The second match is scheduled to start on September 28, Wednesday at 2:30pm local time at Mirpur Stadium.