Afif, Mehidy drive Bangladesh to victory despite top order’s failure

CHITTAGONG: Bangladesh’s lower-order batters Afif Hossain and Mehidy Hasan Miraz put on a crucial match-winning partnership to drive their side over the line in the first ODI against Afghanistan, here on Wednesday.

Set to chase a mere 216, Bangladesh’s top-order failed completely as the side lost their first six wickets for a skimpy 45.

Despite the early horror, Afif and Mehidy stood up for their team and put on a valiant and unbeaten 174-runs partnership for the seventh wicket. The pair batted brilliantly; both scoring gritty half-centuries and turned the match in their favour. Following their partnership, Bangladesh sealed the victory in the 49th over with four wickets to spare.

Mehidy, who was later adjudged as the Player of the Match scored 81* off 120 deliveries, with the help of nine boundaries, while Afif remained just seven short of his century as he remained unbeaten with 93 off 115 balls; smashing 11 boundaries and a six.

For Afghanistan, Fazalhaq Farooqi bagged four wickets, while Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan made one scalp each.

Batting first, Afghanistan could manage to score 215 before being bowled out in the 49th over. Najibullah Zadran top-scored for the side with his half-century; scoring 67 off 84 balls, laced with four boundaries and two sixes, while Rahmat Shah followed back with his 34 off 69 deliveries; including three boundaries.

With no support from the top and lower order, the side, in the end, bowled for a mere 215 in the first innings; handing an easy target for the home side.

For Bangladesh, Mustafizur Rahman led the way with his three wickets, while Taskin Ahmed, Shakib Al Hasan, Shoriful Islam followed with two each. Mahmuduallah, on the other hand, struck out a batter.

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