Bangladesh pull off a close win by 7 runs against Afghanistan at Mirpur

 The first game of the bilateral one day series was played between Bangladesh and Afghanistan at Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur. The contest turned to be a riveting one as Bangladesh just managed to hold their nerves to eke out a small win by 7 runs in the first game. Afghanistan looked comfortable and set to win the game but Bangladesh pace attack did turn around things for their side to snatch victory from jaws of defeat.

Afghanistan reply was not good one as they lost openers Shabir Noori and Mohammad Shahzad early to see the side placed at 46 for 2 after 8 overs.Hashmatullah Shahidi and Rahmat Khan came together at the crease and formed a nice partnership as they batted their side into a position of ascendancy with four runs an over required with eight wickets intact. They did play carefully against best bowlers in the attack such as Shakib and Mortaza and did not take undue risks against them.Taskin Ahmed was expensive in his initial spell but did turn around things to grab four wickets at the end of the game. Rahmat Khan scored 71 runs off 93 balls of the bowling of left arm spinner Shakib-ul-Hasan.

Mohammad Nabi came to the crease and was aggressive from the word with Shahidi playing well at the other end. The game turned when Shahidi went for an expensive shot only to be caught at deep off the bowling of Tajiul Islam. Afghanistan skipper Asghar Stanikzai also promoted Najibullah Zadran to ease the run equation for the side but it did not work as he was dismissed for a low score. Afghanistan still required 27 runs off the last three overs with the side still five wickets down.Taskin Ahmed prove to be man of the moment as he removed Mohammad Nabi and Asghar Stanikzai in quick succession and only conceded 6 runs. Rubel Hossain bowled a splendid 48th over of the innings to see Bangladesh take control of the game. In end, it was Afghanistan who could not keep their nerves as hosts won the game by 7 runs.

Earlier in the day, Bangladesh managed to put a decent of total of 265 runs from 50 overs as they won the toss and elected to bat first on good strip. Soumya Sarkar was dismissed early in the innings but Imrul Kayes and Tamim Iqbal did put up 83 run partnership to see the side build a platform. Imrul Kayes played well but was dismissed by off spinner Mohammad Nabi for 37 runs. Tamim Iqbal top scored with 80 runs for Bangladesh while vital contributions by Mahmudullah and Shakib-ul-Hasan meant the side got to a competitive total in the end.

Bangladesh has taken 1-0 lead in the three match series with the next game to played on Wednesday in Mirpur. Afghanistan will try to improve in order to win the game and square the series going into the final game.

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