Bangladesh come out in front by seven runs
Bangladesh managed to beat a spirited Afghan side by seven runs in the first game of the 3-match ODI series at Mirpur stadium today.
Taskin was chosen by his captain to bowl the last over and he raised his game accordingly. He was spot on with the yorkers and didn't lose the plot.
Bangladesh v Afghanistan
Afghanistan: 258 (50.0 over)
Bangladesh: 265 (50.0 overs)
Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bat
Mirwais Ashraf was leg-before-wicket for three while Dawlat Zadran was caught at long-off .
Rubel took the 8th Afghan wicket to fall in the 49th over when Rashid Khan deflected the ball onto the stumps.
The 48 over bowled by Taskin was the bane for the visitor as they lost two wickets to Taskin. Taskin's slower ball got the better of Mohammad Nabi, and then Asghar Stanikzai holed out at long-on two balls later.
By now the cat was among the pigeons as far as the Afghans were concerned.
Tigers captain took his side ahead with a breakthrough in the 46th over. He sent back Najibullah for 7. Mashrafe's back of a length offcutter was edged behind to Mushfiqur.
Taijul Islam took his only wicket of the match when he sent back Hashmatullah for 72 in the 44 over. Hasmatullah scored 72 and smacked six fours in his knock.
Shakib returned in the 41st over, and immediately got the wicket of Rahmat Shah to become the highest wicket-taker for Bangladesh in all the three formats of the game. Shah's wicket was crucial as Afghanistan were comfortably cruising towards their target.
Rahmat made 71 from 93 with two fours and three sixes to his name.
Afghanistan's third wicket stand halted the slide, and kept the Bangladesh bowlers at bat. Both Hashmatullah Shahidi and Rahmat Shah batted sensibly, and were looking to build a platform to chase down 266.
Shahidi and Shah kept rotating the strike and managed to dispatch the loose deliveries when they presented themselves.
Afghanistan lost their second wicket in the 8th over, as Shakib equaled Abdur Razzak's record for most ODI wickets (207) for Bangladesh. The arm ball kept coming back and found the batter plumb in front of middle.
Shabir Noori was sent back to the pavilion after he made nine from 24.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza gave his side the first breakthrough in the seventh over when he sent back Mohammad Shahzad against the run of play.
Shahzad made a quickfire 31 from 21 balls, and smashed four fours and a six in his cameo. The first wicket stand produced 46 runs in seven overs for Afghanistan.
Afghan openers survived two dropped catches early to give their side a strong start chasing 266 under the lights.
Shabir Noori should have been back in the pavilion, but Rubel could not take the catch running backwards at mid-off.
Mohammad Shahzad was the first to get a let-off when Imrul Kayes failed to take a straight-forward chance at slip in the second over bowled by Taskin Ahmed.
Earlier, Afghanistan fought back late in the innings to dismiss Bangladesh for 265 in 50 overs. Tamim's 80 was the highest score for his team today while Mahmudullah contributed with a well-made 62.
Dawlat was the pick of the bowlers for Afghanistan today. He took four wickets for 73 runs in 10 overs.
The last over bowled by Dawlat saw Bangladesh lose two wickets. Taskin was bowled with a leg-cutter for two while Taijul was caught out for 11
Tigers skipper was dismissed in the 49th over when his miscued shot was safely pouched by Rashid running in from long-off. Naveen-up-Haq grabbed his first wicket of the game with Mashrafe's dismissal.
Bangladesh lost the wicket of Shakib Al Hasan in the 48th over when Dawlat Zadran's short ball was swiped by the allrounder to Najibullah at deep midwicket.
Shakib missed his fifty by two runs, he made 48 from 40 runs with three hits across the fence.
Afghanistan fought back with crucial breakthroughs late in the innings as they managed to send back Mushfiqur Rahim and Sabbir Rahman in quick succession after dismissing Mahmudullah.
Rashid Khan struck in the 45 th over when his googly trapped Sabbir in front. Sabbir was out for two.
Mushfiqur was positive from the onset but played one big shot too many. He missed the googly from Rashid as he failed to make contact with his slog sweep and was bowled for six runs.
Afghanistan fought back late in the innings as they removed Mahmudullah in the 41st over. Mohammad Nabi picked up his second wicket when Mahmudullah swept straight down the throat of Mirwais at deep backward square leg.
Bangladesh batsman walked across the stumps, swept a flatter delivery from Nabi, but could not beat the fielder. Mahmudullah's 62 contained five fours and two sixes, and he faced 74 balls. His stand with Shakib in 5.3 overs produced 40 runs.
Tigers lost their third wicket in the 36th over when Afghan bowler Mirwais Ashraf sent back Tamim Iqbal after the opener had 80 runs to his name.
Tamim tried to loft his shot over mid-off, but could not clear the fielder. He could not time the ball as well as he would have liked, and Naveen didn't make any mistake.
Bangladesh opener made 80 from 98 balls, and struck nine fours in his knock.
Tamim and Mahmudullah batted together for 17 overs, and their partnership yielded 79 runs.
Tamim Iqbal didn't throw away his wicket but played smartly to bring up his 33rd ODI fifty in the 22nd over. He reached his milestone with a delightful late-cut of Rashid Khan.
With hint of rain in the air at Mirpur, both Tamim and Mahmudullah Riyad began to take more risks, and the crowd could cheer more often.
Afghanistan tasted success after nearly 18 overs of grind when Imrul Kayes chopped on a delivery from Mohammad Nabi onto the stumps. Imrul was cramped for room and got bogged during the middle overs as he failed to rotate the strike more often.
Imrul scored 37 from 53 balls, struck six fours in his knock. With Tamim, the second wicket partnership reached 83 runs but seemed to lose steam as boundaries dried up.
As Tamim and Imrul spent time at the crease, the runs kept coming at a decent rate as both of them could afford to free their shoulders. Tamim had a lucky break in the 13th over when Mirwais Ashraf was denied his wicket by Hasmatullah who dropped a straight-forward chance at backward point.
Imrul Kayes would have returned to the pavilion in the seventh over if Mohammad Nabi could hold on to a difficult chance at slip. Dawlat Zadran was disappointed as his team failed to apply pressure in the field.
Bangladesh batters Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes settled down after the loss of the early wicket, and didn't need to take too many risks to keep the scoreboard moving. Both of them managed to capitalize on anything too short or full.
Tigers lost their left-handed opener Soumya Sarkar in the first over when Afghan pacer Dawlat Zadran got his man with a sharp, short ball.
The kicked up outside off, Sarkar tried to pull, lost his shape and ended up offering a simple catch to Shabir Noori at mid-wicket.
Earlier, Tigers skipper Mashrafe called it correctly when the coin was tossed, and opted to bat first and put up a good total on the board against Afghanistan led by Asghar Stanikzai in the first game of the 3-match ODI series at Mirpur Stadium.
Bangladesh and Afghanistan head into the first of three ODIs in Mirpur with different objectives. Afghanistan,playing in their first-ever bilateral series against Bangladesh, will be eager to extend their good form across formats in 2016 - they have won 14 out of 23 matches this year.
The day-night affair, which kicks off at 2.30pm local time, will see the Mashrafe Bin Mortaza-led side return to international cricket after an extended break, especially in the one-day format where they will be playing their first game since a match at home against Zimbabwe in November 2015.
The last time Bangladesh played ODI cricket was on November 11, 2015, when they completed a whitewash of Zimbabwe at home. Remarkably it was Bangladesh's second whitewash of the year, having earlier blanked Pakistan, and their fourth series win at home in 2015, the other two coming against India and South Africa.
But that match against Zimbabwe was to be the last ODI they played in almost a year.
So by there will be some anxiety about continuing with an unprecedented level of play when the Tigers take the field today against Afghanistan in the first of three ODIs at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
Mashrafe Mortaza (Captain), Imrul Kayes, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahman (Wicketkeeper), Nasir Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Taijul Islam and Tamim Iqbal
Asghar Stanikzai (Captain), Amir Hamza, Dawlat Zadran, Fareed Ahmad, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Ihsanullah, Karim Janat, Mirwais Ashraf, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Shahzad (Wicketkeeper), Najibullah Zadran, Naveen-ul-Haq, Nawroz Mangal, Rahmat Shah, Rashid Khan, Samiullah Shenwari and Shabir Noori