The historic significance of Afghanistan's first appearance at #Cricket's ODI World Cup probably outweighed the actual result in the end, but they made a decent fist of their opening fixture in Pool A against a stronger and more experienced Bangladesh side. Their opponents may not exactly be the top nation in cricket in a global sense, but by comparison to the Afghans they are past masters in the competition with 5 previous appearances at World Cups. So a 105-run defeat in Canberra today was probably as much as could be expected of them, especially when the middle-order of their opponents applied themselves to ensure that their nation posted a sizeable total.

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The favourites won the toss and elected to bat first, clearly wanting to set a challenging score for the newcomers and hoping that they would struggle when pressure was applied on their batsmen. They would have been a little wary of their opponents though, having lost their only previous meeting. Bangladesh's decent total of 267 provided the debut side with a challenging if not overly daunting target to chase.

It could have been far worse after they had been reduced to 119-4, but a partnership of 114 for the fifth wicket ensured that the Test side had plenty of runs to defend at the close. The bulk of the total was scored between Mushfiqur Rahim with 71 and Shakib Al Hasan with 63, who shared in the highly profitable fifth-wicket stand. A higher total was averted by some excellent late order bowling by the debutants, as they took the last six wickets for just 34 runs after that lengthy fifth-wicket partnership had been broken.

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The pick of the bowling attack were Shapoor Zadran (2-20) and Mirwais Ashraf (2-32).

In reply, the Afghans slumped to 3-3 from the first three overs and from there the task proved to be far too much for them to live up to, as they were ultimately skittled out for 162 off 42.5 overs. A partnership of 62 for the fourth wicket and 58 for the sixth only served to prolong their innings a little longer than had first seemed likely. Their skipper Mohammad Nabi top scored for them with 44, ably backed up by Samiullah Shenwari's 42. Mashrafe Mortaza was the chief tormentor for the batsmen with 3-20.

The victory puts Bangladesh above the likes of Sri Lanka and England in their group after each side's first match. Further wins for them against Australia and New Zealand may be asking a little too much, but they will fancy their chances against Scotland and should give a decent account of themselves against both England and Sri Lanka, one would expect. For the Afghans, any win against the remaining five teams in Pool A would appear to be a bonus, with the Scots the most likely to come under pressure from them.