A disciplined bowling attack from Bangladesh saw them restrict Afghanistan to a modest total in the first of the three ODIs at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram today.
Bangladesh bowlers kept a tight leash on the Afghanistan batters right from the word go as the Tigers bundled the visitors out for 215 in 49.1 overs. However, thanks to Najibullah Zadran’s 84-ball 67, Afghanistan were able to take the score past the 200-run mark.
Electing to bat, Afghanistan lost opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz early to Mustafizur Rahman. And just when Rahmat Shah and Ibrahim Zadran started consolidating steadily, their 45-run stand was ended by another left-arm pacer in Shoriful Islam.
With Bangladesh bowlers constantly keeping up the pressure through dots, Afghanistan never really got going in the middle as they lost wickets at regular intervals. The only time the visitors looked to be somewhat ominous and in control of the game when Mohammad Nabi and Najibullah Zadran were scoring runs at a decent pace.
But that partnership of a run-a-ball 63 ended when Taskin Ahmed had Nabi caught behind in the 39th over.
However, Najibullah kept on going despite losing partners at the other end. The left-hander struck some lusty blows at the latter stage of the game, helping Afghanistan to a modest total.
For Bangladesh, pacer Mustafizur took the most wickets. He ended with figures of three for 35 in 9.1 overs. Also, pacersTaskin, Shoriful and all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan scalped two wickets each while off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz remained the most economical bowlers despite remaining wicketless in the game.