Bangladesh clinched a resounding 89-run victory in a must-win clash against Afghanistan, reigniting their hopes of progressing to the Super Four stage in the ongoing Asia Cup. This crucial win earned Bangladesh two valuable points in the tournament’s second and final league-stage match.

Following their defeat in the tournament opener against Sri Lanka, the Bangladesh side led by Shakib Al Hasan made a strong comeback, securing their maiden victory in the Asia Cup. The Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore bore witness to exceptional centuries from Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Najmul Hossain Shanto, which proved instrumental in their triumph.

In a strategic move, Bangladesh opted to promote Mehidy Hasan Miraz as an opener. Mohammed Naim (28) and Mehidy laid a solid foundation for the team with a promising start, but the quick loss of Naim and Towhid Hridoy raised concerns.

However, the turning point of the innings materialized when Mehidy and Najmul Hossain Shanto forged an exceptional 194-run partnership for the third wicket. Both batsmen notched centuries, with Mehidy retiring hurt after amassing 112 runs, while Shanto displayed an impressive knock of 104 runs.

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This historic partnership between Mehidy and Shanto set a new record for the highest partnership in the history of the Asia Cup, eclipsing the previous best of 160 runs achieved by Imrul Kayes and Junaid Siddique against Pakistan in 2010. It ranks as the third-highest partnership ever for Bangladesh in ODI cricket and stands as their highest against an Asian opponent.

Bangladesh maintained their momentum throughout the innings, accumulating a formidable total of 334/5 in their allotted 50 overs. Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan contributed crucial runs during the death overs, with Shakib amassing 32 runs from 18 balls and Rahim adding 25 runs from 15 deliveries.

In contrast, Afghanistan struggled to gather momentum, with Shoriful Islam making an early breakthrough by dismissing the dangerous Rahmanullah Gurbaz. While Ibrahim Zadran (75), Rahmat Shah (33), and Hashmatullah Shahidi (51) displayed commendable performances, their efforts ultimately fell short in a losing cause.