Fast-rising Afghanistan shock Bangladesh in Asia Cup
The Afghanistan team celebrates their win during the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah, on the outskirts of Dhaka on March 1, 2014 - by Dibyangshu Sarkar
Afghanistan rode on a brilliant unbeaten career best 90 by Asghar Stanikzai and a punishing 69-ball 81 by Samiullah Shinwari to post a challenging 254-6 before bowling out their rivals for 222 in 47.5 overs.
Afghanistan's victory marked its first win over a Test playing country in four one-day matches. They previously lost both their one-day internationals against Pakistan and one against Australia.
Afghanistan are playing the Asia Cup for the first time.
It was a great shock for the hosts, who were runners-up in the last Asia Cup in 2012 to Pakistan as they played without their key all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, suspended over indiscipline, and injured spearhead Mashrafe Mortaza.
Bangladesh, who lost their opening match to India, never looked settled in their run-chase as they lost their openers by the second over with only a single run on the board.
It was a 68-run stand between Mominul Haque (50) and skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (23) that lifted Bangladesh before Afghan captain Mohammad Nabi claimed his counterpart's wicket.
Nabi finished with 3-44 while pacemen Hamid Hassan and Shapoor Zadran took two wickets apiece.
Mominul hit six boundaries in a sedate 72-ball innings but once he was bowled by Shinwari (1-23), all hopes of a home team win evaporated.
Nasir Hossain and Ziaur Rahman chipped in with 41 apiece but could only delay the inevitable.
- 'Outplayed' -
Afghan captain was ecstatic over the win.
"It's our first win against a full member," said Nabi. "It was a good partnership between Stanikzai and Shinwari that lifted us and despite missing some chances in the field we bowled well to achieve this landmark win.
"Fans and the whole country must be celebrating and we will do our best in the remaining matches," he said.
Bangladesh captain Rahim was left disappointed.
"We were outplayed in all three departments. We played well earlier in the first 30 overs but they did well thereafter. It's disappointing to lose," he said.
Earlier, Afghanistan, put in to bat, owed their total to a record sixth wicket stand of 164 runs between Stanikzai and Shinwari who lifted their team from a precarious 90-5.
The Stanikzai-Shinwari stand is the third highest partnership for Afghanistan in all one-day internationals and the highest for the sixth wicket.
Stanikzai hit six boundaries and three towering sixes in his highest one-day score while Shinwari smashed 10 fours and a six.
They ran riot in the final 10 overs as Afghanistan added 107 for the loss of Shinwari who was run out off the penultimate delivery.
Afghanistan had lost opener Mohammad Shahzad (two) in the third over of the innings before Karim Sadiq (12) and Najibullah Zadran (21) took the total to 40.
Nawroz Mangal (24) and skipper Mohammad Nabi (seven) too failed to benefit from good starts as Afghanistan were left struggling at 90-5 in the 27th over.
It was left to Stanikzai and Shinwari to lift the innings.
Sri Lanka have won both their matches while title-holders Pakistan and India have won one of their two matches.
India meet Pakistan in a high-profile match in Mirpur on Sunday.