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Al Hasan keen to share praise as Bangladesh lift semi-final hopes

 

By Steve Simpson

Shakib Al Hasan's all-round brilliance inspired Bangladesh to a 62-run victory over Afghanistan to move the Tigers to within one point of England in the World Cup standings.

The 32-year-old has been in the form of his life this month, his 51 from 69 balls on a challenging surface at the Hampshire Bowl the fifth time in six tournament innings he has surpassed a half-century.

Mushfiqur Rahim top-scored with 83 in Bangladesh's 262 for seven before Al Hasan took centre stage once more, becoming the first bowler from his country to take a five-wicket World Cup haul.

His five for 29, the best figures of the tournament so far, saw Afghanistan subside to 200 all out after 47 overs, slumping to a seventh successive defeat on the same wicket in which they came within 12 runs of causing a monumental upset against India.

Bangladesh, meanwhile, live to fight another day, moving up to fifth in the table, though victories in their final two games against India and Pakistan would not be enough to guarantee progression to the knockout stages.

"I think the five wickets gave me greater pleasure, it was important. But I had to work really hard with the bat and without Mushfiqur and lots of little innings that contributed we wouldn't have got that total," said Al Hasan. "It was a team effort with the bat - we knew it would be tough with their three quality spinners.

"There are two more important matches for us, two big teams to play and we have to play at our best to win."

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