Shakib Al Hasan was at his all-round best as he scored a fifty and took five wickets to lead Bangladesh to an important 62-run win over Afghanistan at Southampton on Monday.
The win keeps Bangladesh in with a chance to make the semi-finals as the number one ranked ODI all rounder became man-of-the-match again, the third time this tournament, in all three of the Tigers’ wins.
After winning the toss, Afghanistan chose to field as Bangladesh started with a new opening pair of Liton Das and Tamim Iqbal to form a left-hand right-hand combination against the Afghan spinners.
That proved futile as Liton Das was out after scoring 16, caught by Hashmatullah Shahidi at short cover off the bowling of Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
The catch was sent to the third upmipres to be checked if it was clean or not with the soft signal being out.
Replays showed that the ball did bump off the ground, while the fingers were underneath, and third umpire Aleem Dar stuck to the soft call of ‘out’ as he didn’t find any “conclusive evidence” to overturn the decision.
In came the man in form Shakib Al Hasan and formed a 59-run partnership with Tamim Iqbal before Tamim tried to cut a delivery that kept straight and was bowled by Mohammad Nabi after scoring 36.
Mushfiqur Rahim was up next, fresh from his century against Australia and he picked up where he left.
He and Shakib scored a quick 61-run partnership before Shakib was dismissed by a brilliant delivery from Mujeeb, but not before he scored another half-century - 51 off 69 deliveries.
Soumya Sarkar, being displaced from the opening slot was then dismissed by Mujeeb, as he had his third wicket and Afghanistan were right back in the match as Bangladesh were 151/4 after 32 overs.
With quick runs required, Mahmudullah came in and formed a 56-run partnership as Mushfiq brought up his fifty with a six off the bowling of Dawlat Zadran.
During the partnership, Mahmudullah injured himself while running between the wickets but still carried on. He was dismissed by a slower ball by Gulbadin Naib after scoring 26.
With a growing reputation of becoming a finisher, Mosaddek Hossain was in to bat next and he didn’t take time in playing his shots as Bangladesh crossed the 250-run mark.
Mushfiqur looked well set to become the third Bangladesh player to score back-to-back World Cup centuries after Mahmudullah and Shakib, but he miscued a slog and was out for 83, caught by Mohammad Nabi at long off, off the bowling of Dawlat Zadran.
Mosaddek continued to score quickly, before being bowled by Naib off the last ball of the innings for a 24-ball 35 to take Bangladesh to a competitive 262/7 on a slowish wicket.
Gulbadin Naib and Rahmat Shah got the Afghans off to a slow, but steady start as they posted 49 runs for the first wicket before Shakib came in to dismiss Shah after he scored 24.
Hashmatullah Shahidi was up next, and with the required run-rate exceeding six, he missed a flighted delivery from Mosaddek and was stumped by Mushfiq for 11.
With Afghanistan plodding along and the required run rate constantly creeping, Shakib was brought back to dismiss the captain, Naib, for 47.
Shakib then dismissed Mohammad Nabi a few balls later for a duck and Bangladesh were all over the Afghans.
Former captain Asghar Afgan came in and played a few good shots, but the pressure of the required run-rate got to him and he was out for 20, once again, by Shakib Al Hasan.
Ikram Alikhil did not last too long either as he was run out by some sharp work from Liton as the Afghans stared at a big defeat with the score at 132/6.
Samiullah Shinwari held his end up and formed a decent 56-run partnership with Najibullah Zadran but he became Shakib’s fifth wicket as the Tigers edged closer to victory.
Mustafizur Rahman and Mohammad Saifuddin then cleaned up the tail without much fuss as the Afghans were all out for 200 after 47 overs.
The win takes Bangladesh back to fifth spot with seven points from seven matches, ahead of Sri Lanka who are placed sixth with six points.
Afghanistan remain winless from seven games as they are still searching for their first World Cup win, with games against Pakistan and West Indies remaining, who are ranked seventh and eighth respectively
New Zealand are still on top of the points table with 11 points, followed closely but Australia (10), India (9) and England (8) to make up the top four.
1 - Shakib has scored 476 runs and taken 10 wickets in this World Cup in six games. No player had scored over 400 runs and taken 10 or more wickets previously in a World Cup. The best all-round World Cup performances include Lance Klusener's 281 runs and 17 wickets in 1999 World Cup and Yuvraj's 362 runs and 15 wickets in 2011.
1 - Shakib also became the first player in World Cup history to amass 1000-plus runs and take 30-plus wickets. He now has 1016 runs and 33 wickets in 27 World Cup games.
2- Shakib Al Hasan became only the second player to score a fifty and take a five-wicket haul in the same World Cup match. Shakib emulated Yuvraj Singh, who had followed his 5 for 31 with an unbeaten 50 against Ireland in Bengaluru in the 2011 World Cup. And this was the first time Shakib achieved this double in his ODI career.