Bangladesh spinners led by Shakib Al Hasan guided their side to a thumping nine-wicket win against Afghanistan in their Qualifying Group A match of the ICC World T20 at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, here today.
The hosts made an impressive start to their campaign as they first skittled Afghanistan for a paltry 72 in 17.1 overs after electing to field and then returned to overhaul the target in 12 overs with the loss of one wicket.
Shakib was the pick of the bowlers giving away just eight runs bagging three wickets in his 3.1 overs, while Abdur Razzak (2/20) claimed two in his four overs to help their side avenge the Asia Cup defeat to the minnows.
Opener Anamul Haque (44 not out) and No. 3 batsman Shakib (10 not out) took Bangladesh home after Afghan batsmen just could not negotiate the Bangladeshi spinners on a pitch that offered a bit of turn and bounce.
Haque's delightful knock off 33 balls included four boundaries and three sixes, while Tamim Iqbal made 21 in 27 deliveries before he was trapped in front by Samiullah Shenwari.
Earlier, Afghanistan had a disastrous start when opener Mohammad Shahzad (۰) was dismissed on the very first ball of the innings by pacer Mashrafe Mortaza.
Coming in next, Gulbadin Naib (21) played some handsome shots and added 36 runs for the second wicket with debutant Najeeb Tarakai (۷). But Gulbadin's dismissal after his 22-ball knock, which included three fours and a six, triggered a batting collapse.
Shakib claimed the wickets of Najeeb and Gulbadin on consecutive deliveries in the sixth over. Nawroz Mangal was then run out in the next over as Afghanistan slipped to 36 for four.
Middle-order batsmen skipper Mohammad Nabi (3), Karim Sadiq (10), Shafiqullah (16) and Samiullah Shenwari (1) too failed to lift their side.
Other wicket-takers were spinner Mahmudullah (1/8), medium-pacer Farhad Reza (1/2) and Mortaza (1/8) as they forced Afghanistan to their lowest ever T20 total. Afghanistan will face Hong Kong at Chittagong on March 18, while Bagladesh takes on Nepal on the same day.