The Bangladesh tigers send their home crowd passing time in restless discomfort due to political crisis into jubilation on Wednesday by their deserved win against the cricket world cup debutant Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Bnp chief Begum Khaleda Zia spontaneously sent messages congratulating the tigers for their win that has given the people a moment of glory and hope.
BBC adds: Afghanistan’s historic first World Cup match ended in a 105-run defeat by Bangladesh in Canberra.
Chasing 268, the Afghans did not recover from being 3-3 after three overs and were bowled out for 162.
They had earlier acquitted themselves well with the ball, reducing Bangladesh to 119-4 and claiming six wickets for 34 runs at the end of the innings.
Mushfiqur Rahim (71) and Shakib Al Hasan (63) helped the Test side to 267 and ensured they avoided an upset.
For Afghanistan, becoming the 20th team to take part in a World Cup is the continuation of a remarkable journey that has been set against the backdrop of continuing conflict in their homeland.
In 2008 they were playing in the fifth and bottom tier of the International Cricket Council’s world league but have since qualified for this tournament, two World Twenty20s and will soon have the chance to earn Test status.
Here, their pace bowlers showed that they possess the quality to compete in Pool A, where England and Scotland also await.
The only previous one-day international between these two sides waswon by Afghanistan and there were occasions in the Bangladesh innings that hinted at a repeat.
Asked to bowl on a slowish pitch, the Afghan accuracy was rewarded as the economical Merwais Ashraf found seam movement to dismiss both Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque, while the lively Shapoor Zadran ended a
stand of 50 between Soumya Sarkar and Mahmudullah.
And, in the final overs, Hamid Hassan and Aftab Alam returned to bowl full and straight to run through the tail.
But, in between, Afghanistan became ragged as Mushfiqur, strong square of the wicket, and Shakib, who scored through 360 degrees, first rebuilt and then accelerated in a stand of 114.
Still, the target did not seem out of reach at the interval, only for a horrible start to the Afghanistan chase to effectively end the contest.
Javed Ahmadi got a leading edge to be caught and bowled, while Ashgar Stakikzai flashed to first slip, both off Mashrafe Mortaza, either side of Rubel Hossain shooting one through to pin Afsar Zazai lbw.
Captain Mohammad Nabi made 44 and Samiullah Shinwari 42 to ensure respectability, but the final five wickets fell for 26 runs.
“We were under the pressure as the favourites and expected to win the game,” said man of the match Mushfiqur.
“But in a World Cup anyone can win any game. Hopefully we will carry on that momentum into the next game.” – BBC Sport