Afif, Mehidy help Bangladesh sink Afghanistan
Afif Hossain and Mehidy Hasan shared a record 174-run seventh-wicket stand as Bangladesh recovered from a top-order collapse to beat Afghanistan by four wickets in the first one-day international of a three-match series in Chittagong on Wednesday.
Afif hit an unbeaten 93 off 115 balls while Mehidy added 81 not out, helping Bangladesh reach 219-6 in 48.5 overs, after Afghanistan left-arm pace bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi's opening-spell burst reduced the hosts to 18-4 inside five overs.
Spinners Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan took one wicket apiece to leave Bangladesh struggling at 45-6 before Afif and Mehidy turned the tide.
Earlier Mustafizur Rahman took 3-35 with Shoriful Islam (2-38), Shakib Al Hasan (2-50) and Taskin Ahmed (2-55) all making an impact as Bangladesh bowled out Afghanistan for 215 runs.
Despite the modest target, Bangladesh were in all sorts of trouble when Farooqi dismissed openers Tamim Iqbal (eight) and Liton Das (one) in the third over before nabbing Mushfiqur Rahim (three) and debutant Yasir Ali (zero) in the next.
Things turned worse for Bangladesh after Shakib Al Hasan dragged onto his stumps off Mujeeb Ur Rahman to depart for 10 and Rashid dismissed Mahmudullah for eight to leave Bangladesh in a precarious situation.
But Afif, who hit 11 fours and a six in his career-best knock, and Mehidy ensured there was no further damage.
Mehidy struck nine fours in his third ODI fifty, also his personal best innings, which came off 120 balls.
Their partnership surpassed Imrul Kayes and Mohammad Saifuddin's 127 seventh-wicket record for Bangladesh, set against Zimbabwe in 2018.
"The way the youngsters played, unbelievable, (I am) very happy and proud," said Bangladesh skipper Tamim.
"Afghanistan have a great spin attack and the way these two handled (them) was amazing."
Farooqi, the most successful Afghanistan bowler, finished with 4-54 playing only his second ODI.
"Farooqi bowled well at the top. But I will give credit to their batsmen," said Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi.
Afghanistan earlier lost regular wickets after they elected to bat first before Najibullah Zadran hit 67 runs to give their innings some respectability.
Rahmat Shah (34), skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi (28) and Mohammad Nabi (20) got starts but could not convert them into a big score.
Zadran put on 63 runs with Nabi for the fifth wicket to help Afghanistan recover from 102-4.
Shoriful ended Zadran's patient 84-ball knock in the penultimate over as Mahmudullah Riyad took the catch at long-on.
Mustafizur wrapped up Afghanistan's innings three balls later - in 49.1 overs - with the wicket of Yamin Ahmadzai.
The second match of the series was due to be held at the same ground on Friday.