Mirpur, Bangladesh: Bangladesh opened its World Twenty20 campaign Sunday with a comfortable nine-wicket victory over Afghanistan in a Group A qualifying match.
Left-arm spinner Shakib-Al-Hasan grabbed 3-8 as the host dismissed Afghanistan for 72 in 17.1 overs in what was the lowest international T20 total in Bangladesh. It then scored 78-1 in 12 overs with opener Anamul Haque getting a quick 44 not out.
Bangladesh had lost to Afghanistan during the recent Asia Cup but was determined not to slip up in this match, which is expected to determine the qualifier from this group where Bangladesh and Afghanistan are expected to dominate Hong Kong and Nepal.
The top team from among these four will join India, Pakistan, Australia and West Indies in Group 2 of the Super 10 stage.
Bangladesh was never under pressure chasing the small target as Haque produced a fluent 33-ball knock in which he smashed four fours and three sixes.
Earlier, Afghanistan tied itself in knots against a disciplined bowling attack after being put in to bat.
Gulbadin Naib scored 21 of 22 balls with three fours and one six but Shakib soon put Bangladesh in control with a twin-strike in which he dismissed Naib and Najeeb Tarakai.
Shakib said there was help for spinners in the pitch.
"There was some spin and we put the ball in the right areas," Shakib said after being named man of the match. "I'd love to have this (kind of) wicket every day of my life. It's a very good way to start this tournament (for us)."