Afghanistan have today recorded their first win over a full member, and the first win by any associate member in the history of the Asia Cup.
Batting first after being put in by Bangladeshi captain Mushfiqur Rahim, Afghanistan didn't start well, with the big hitting Mohammad Shahzad out for two in the third over. They found scoring tricky in the first half of their innings, and had only reached 90 when the fifth wicket fell in the 27th over.
Whilst the Afghanistan of old would have collapsed from that point, perhaps not even making 200, this is a different Afghanistan now. Asghar Stanikzai and Samiullah Shenwari, who made their international debuts in 2006 against Saudi Arabia and Qatar respectively, got Afghanistan back into the game with a fine partnership.
The pair put on 164 for the sixth wicket, almost batting out the rest of the innings. Shenwari was dismissed from the penultimate delivery of the innings for 81, whilst Stanikzai remained unbeaten on 90. Afghanistan scored 254-6 from their 50 overs.
Bangladesh's reply got off to a terrible start when both openers were dismissed in the first two overs with just one run on the board. The innings then got back on track with Mominul Haque and Mushfiqur Rahim putting on 68 for the third wicket.
Nasir Hossain and Naeem Islam were able to put on 71 for the fifth wicket, but when Mirwais Ashraf dismissed Hossain, the game began to swing back the way of the Afghans.
Hamid Hassan took the wicket of Naeem Islam from the penultimate ball of the 40th over, with the score on 165, and Abdur Razzak was run out from the next delivery. Shapoor Zadran then had Arafat Sunny caught behind from the first ball of the next over, and Bangladesh were reeling on 165-8.
Ziaur Rehman and Arafat Sunny provided some resistance for Bangladesh, putting on 40 for the ninth wicket, but their partnership was eventually broken by Mohammad Nabi, and four overs later he took the final wicket to fall, with Bangladesh being bowled out for 222.
Afghanistan's next match in the tournament will be against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. They will potentially be without Hamid Hassan, who went off injured in the middle of an over today. Nevertheless, they will go into the match full of confidence, hopeful of pulling off another win.
Bangladesh lost to Afghanistan by 32 runs
Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium, Fatullah, 1 March
Afghanistan 254-6 (50 overs, Asghar Stanikzai 90*, Samiullah Shenwari 81)
Bangladesh 222 (47.5 overs, Mominul Haque 50, Nasir Hossain 41, Ziaur Rahman 41, Mohammad Nabi 3-44)