In a crucial match in the ongoing Asia Cup, Bangladesh showed their mettle with an easy win against a hapless Afghanistan side, thanks to brilliant centuries from Mehidy Hasan and Najmul Shanto. With this victory, Bangladesh kept their hopes alive in the Super 4s stage of the tournament.
Batting first, Afghanistan struggled against a disciplined Bangladesh bowling attack. They lost early wickets and could never truly recover. Only Hashmatullah Shahidi’s fighting half-century propped them up to a modest total of 200. Bangladesh’s bowlers were exceptional, with Mustafizur Rahman picking up three wickets and Shakib Al Hasan and Mosaddek Hossain taking two each.
Chasing a target of 201, Bangladesh got off to a shaky start, losing their opener Soumya Sarkar early on. However, Mehidy Hasan, who usually plies his trade as an off-spinner, played a gem of an innings. Promoted to number three, he displayed solid technique and temperament, compiling a brilliant century and anchoring the innings. His partnership with the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim provided stability to the chase.
However, the real star of the day was the young Najmul Shanto. Playing in only his second One-Day International (ODI), Shanto showcased his immense talent and potential. He batted with maturity beyond his years and made a stunning century to guide Bangladesh to an emphatic win. His knock was filled with classy strokes and impeccable timing, leaving the Afghan bowlers clueless.
The duo of Hasan and Shanto put together an impressive 189-run partnership to ensure there were no hiccups in the run chase. Mehidy Hasan’s unbeaten 103 and Najmul Shanto’s 117 led Bangladesh to victory with 7 overs to spare. Their innings was a testament to Bangladesh’s depth in batting talent and ability to groom young players.
This win not only keeps Bangladesh’s hopes alive in the Asia Cup but also highlights their progress as a cricketing nation. In recent years, Bangladesh has developed into a competitive side, capable of challenging the top teams. The emergence of talented youngsters like Shanto and Hasan adds more strength to their squad.
Bangladesh will need to carry this momentum forward in their remaining matches to secure a spot in the final of the Asia Cup. With teams like India and Pakistan in the Super 4s, the challenge will be daunting. However, if Bangladesh can continue to play with the same commitment and determination, they certainly have the potential to cause a few upsets.
As the Asia Cup unfolds, cricket fans can expect more nail-biting encounters and breathtaking performances from teams across the region. With the likes of Hasan and Shanto proving their worth, Bangladesh’s journey in the tournament will undoubtedly be one to watch.