afghanistan’s much-heralded first Cricket World Cup match ended in defeat on Wednesday when Bangladesh took three early wickets for three runs on the way to beating the fledgling side by 105 runs.
Afghanistan thrilled thousands of flag-waving expatriates at Manuka Oval earlier in the day by making a promising start to its debut match in the 50-over tournament, taking four early wickets and then rallying after Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim combined for a 114-run partnership to bowl Bangladesh, which won the toss, out for 267.
But Afghanistan was never in the match in reply, failing to hit its first boundary until the 10th over and requiring an unlikely nine runs per over with 15 overs to go. It was all out for 162 runs in 42.5 overs.
“We’re disappointed with our performance today, that isn’t a true reflection of how we play,” Afghanistan’s English coach Andy Moles said. “But in any game of cricket, when you’re 3 for 3 … not many teams can come back from that. We had a couple of good partnerships but then they didn’t go on long enough.”
Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi, who spent time in a Pakistan refugee camp, top-scored with 44 runs before being removed by fellow skipper Mashrafe Mortaza, the Bangladesh bowler’s third wicket of the night.
The play of the match came when Bangladesh’s Rubel Hossain made an outstanding catch at the long-boundary to dismiss Nawroz Mangal for 27.