Winning start for Bangladesh

Hosts Bangladesh raced to a nine-wicket win over Afghanistan in the opening game of the World Twenty20.

Spinner Shakib Al Hasan claimed figures of 3-8 as Afghanistan were bowled out for 72 after being sent in to bat at a packed Shere Bangla National Stadium.

Bangladesh chased down their modest target with eight overs unused to put themselves in pole position to progress from Group A.

Mashrafe Mortaza struck with the first ball of the tournament, Afghan opener Mohammad Shahzad heaving a catch high in the air to Mahmudullah in the covers.

Najeeb Tarakai (7) and top-scorer Gulbadin Naib (21) put on 36 for the second wicket but left-armer Shakib removed them with successive balls in the sixth over and the innings never recovered.

Off-spinner Mahmudullah conceded only eight runs from his fours overs and took the wicket of Shafiqullah, while left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak chipped in with 2-20.

Afghanistan were all out in 17.1 overs and headed out into the field knowing a repeat of their recent Asia Cup win over the same opponents was looking unlikely.

The run chase quickly turned into a procession with Bangladesh openers Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque putting on 45 inside eight overs.

Samiullah Shenwari had Tamim lbw for 21 but Anamul (44no) and Shakib (10no) finished off the job without further loss.

The first six days of the two-week tournament are devoted to whittling eight teams down to two, with the respective winners of Group A and B advancing to the second phase.

The other teams in Group A - Nepal and Hong Kong - are both making their tournament debuts and meet later on Sunday, while Group B starts on Monday with Ireland v Zimbabwe and Netherlands v United Arab Emirates.

The second group stage starts on Friday with India v Pakistan in Dhaka.