Showstealrs of the Day 5: Shapoor, Shakib and Mortaza

Day 5 of World Cup 2015 saw Afghanistan’s entry to the big stage against Bangladesh in the Pool A match. The result of 105-run win by Bangladesh does not show the clear picture, how Afghanistan almost defeated them again. Specially their bowlers were very effective, and Shapoor Zadran was the most impressive. If it was not for Shakib in the company of MOM Mushfiqur, Bangladesh would have been in bigger trouble. Then, Captain Mashrafe Mortaza killed the hope of chase that Afghanistan might have had. In the see-saw day ruled again by bowlers after yesterday, bowlers Shapoor and Mortaza were the showstealers with World’s best alrounder Shakib al Hasan.

Shapoor Zadran: The Impressive Afghan Bowler
Before World Cup, Shapoor Zadran had taken 31 wickets in 31 ODI matches with 4/24 being his best. Today, when the biggest achievement for his country was to appear in the World Cup, his bowling almost got them to the verge of victory. In 7 overs he bowled a maiden and had the figure of 20/2 taking the wickets of Soumya Sarkar and destructive Mahmudullah. He bowled in two spells.

In the 2nd, 4th and 6th over of the innings he had the figure of 3 overs 1 maiden and 4 runs. But he was replaced. Then he returned to break the developing partnership betweeen Soumya Sarkar and Mahmudullah and bowled 4 more overs from 26th over of the innings. In the first over of second spell he got Soumya Sarkar leg before wicket. In the 30th over he got Mahmudullah caught behind too. After that he was given just one over to bowl to the duo of Shakib and Mushfiqur who took away the game.

Only two boundaries were hit on his bowling. Surprising that he was not called back.

Shakib and Mortaza
Bangladesh was staring at another defeat against Afghanistan. But World’s best allrounder in all formats Shakib Al Hasan joined hands with MOM Mushfiqur Rehman and took them to a respectable score, although not the usual 300+ totals that other teams batting first have got so far.

Coming to bat at the falll of Soumya Sarkar on the last ball of 26th over as Bangladesh were 102/3, the first ball he faced was hit for a boundary. He started aggressively and took time to build the innings as safety first was the approach. Finally, before being bowled by Hamid Hassan he scored 63 runs in 51 balls with 6 4s and a six as Bangladesh looked strong at 233/5 with 5 more overs to go.

Mashrafe Mortaza
This was his first match as captain at the World Cup. His team had somehow managed to post a respectable score. While batting he promoted himself to No. 8 and hit 3 boundaries to score 14 runs in 9 balls. But he knew Afghanistan batting is not so weak. His team needed wickets and he struck in the first over sending Javed Ahmadi back to pavilion on the last ball. In his 2nd over he bowled a maiden and got a bigger fish in Asghar Stanikzai, again on the last ball and the match was as good as decided as Afghanistan had lost top 3 batsmen by then as score read 3 overs 3/3.

His first 6 overs had 2 maidens and returned figure of 10/2. He returned during the powerplay when Afghanistan were 126/5. The rival captain Mohammad Nabi got 5 runs with a boundary in 36th over, and Mortaza got him on the first ball of 38th over. He bowled 2 more overs of PowerPlay and returned the best and most economic figure of the match. 9 overs 2 maidens 20/3.

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