Bangladesh secured a first ever one-day international victory over New Zealand with a seven-wicket win in Mirpur.
It marked the first time in 12 meetings that the BLACKCAPS had lost to the Tigers and swiftly ended their goal of vaulting to No 2 in the International Cricket Council one-day rankings.
Such a promotion was in the offing providing they won the three-match series 3-0, which they were widely expected to do. But Bangladesh put paid to that with a confident allround performance, limiting the tourists to 201 for nine after a fine display in the field.
"I am happy we played as a unit," Ashraful said. "I am elated that its the first win against New Zealand and first against a major country under my captaincy."
"The toss was very important," Ashraful told TigerCricket.com. "With the overnight rain and the cloud cover we needed the bowlers to have a go first. I want to compliment everyone - Mashrafe, [Syed] Rasel, Shahadat [Hossain], Shakib, Razzak, Naeem...they set up the win for us with some wonderful bowling.
"The fielding too was good," Ashraful added. "I have said this before, if we do well in all three departments then we stand a good chance of being competitive. Today was proof of that."
After being invited to bat first in damp and overcast conditions, they lost five wickets for 18 runs to slump to 65 for five inside 17 overs before Jacob Oram led the resistance movement with a battling 57 off 89 deliveries. The only top order batsman to get underway was Jesse Ryder, who made 34 off 35 balls before spooning a catch to mid wicket.
Oram tempered his natural inclination to hit out as he and skipper Daniel Vettori cautiously set about turning the tide. These two put on 70 for the seventh wicket as the tourists reached 149 after 40 overs before Vettori departed for 30.
Oram hung around for another six overs before holing out at long on to become left-armer spinner Abdur Razzak's third victim. Razzak finished with the fine figures of three for 33 off 10 overs, but he was outshone by spirited fast-medium bowler Mashrafe Mortaza, who enjoyed the helpful conditions early on.
Mortaza snared three for 18 in his opening burst of eight overs and returned to pick up another late in the piece. He ended with four for 44, figures which suffered in his last spell when he conceded 26 runs in his last two overs.
Teenager Tim Southee swatted an unbeaten 19 off 14 balls at the death to drag the tourists over the 200 mark. Kyle Mills, Mark Gillespie and Scott Styris all claimed a wicket each but the bowlers could do little to prevent the historic win for the hosts.
unaid Siddique (84) and Mohammad Ashraful (60) guided Bangladesh to a historic win which Mashrafe Mortaza (4-44) had earlier set in motion.
Bangladesh's batsmen, criticised for their failures against Australia, stood up to the task with Ashraful himself scoring a brisk unbeaten 60. The star of the day , though, was Junaid Siddique, whose patient 85 easily eclipsed the 62 he had managed in his eight previous ODI innings. "I needed this innings to get my confidence back," Siddique said. "My one-day record has been quite ordinary and it was about time I got some runs.
A 70-run partnership between Oram and Daniel Vettori (30) gave some respectability to the New Zealand score, and despite the low total the visitors would have still been confident of taking a 1-0 series lead.
But the Bangladesh batting line-up proved to be more resolute than they were late last year when they were skittled out for just 98 in Queenstown.
A confident 67-run second-wicket stand between Siddique and Mushfiqur Rahim (32) set the platform.And Siddique, who had managed 62 runs in his eight previous ODIs - at an average of just seven - formed a solid 109-run stand with Ashraful to inch the home side closer to victory.Siddique's majestic innings was ended by Mark Gillespie when the left-hander was caught by Oram, so it was left for Shakib Al Hasan (six not out) to push Gillespie for the winning single.
Black Caps captain Daniel Vettori said Bangladesh deserved the victory."We knew they are a good side with some quality individuals," he said."The conditions were favourable for bowling in the morning but there are no excuses."