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22 September, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 22 September, 2019 01:37:12 AM

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tri-nation T20

Shakib leads Tigers to win over Afghans

Md Abu Talha Sarker, Ctg
Shakib leads Tigers to win over Afghans
Bangladesh spinner Afif Hossain (L-4th) celebrates with teammates after taking his second wicket against Afghanistan during their tri-nation series match at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram yesterday. BCB Photo

Shakib Al Hasan found his flow as his unbeaten 45-ball 70 steered Bangladesh to seal a reasonably comfortable four-wicket victory over fancied Afghanistan in the leg-ending match of the ongoing tri-nation series at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium (ZACS) in Chattogram yesterday. By the instrumentality of this runaway, Bangladesh prevailed over the rampant Afghan in T20 international after almost five years.

Last time they thrashed the Afghan side in 2014.

Both teams meanwhile confirmed their final meet by removing the other contenders of the Tri-series Zimbabwe. Even if it is dead rubber, the match has significance for the hosts, who haven’t beaten their Asian counterparts in the last four T20I encounters. By winning the match, they got a big boost in their confidence and morale ahead of the Tri-nation final, which will be played at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur on Tuesday.

Despite getting a hunky-dory target of 139 set by Afghanistan, Bangladesh mislaid Liton Kumar Das and Nazmul Hossain Shanto in two successive initial overs, forcing the team to make a start in gingerly fashion. After losing two top-order scalps, the hosts have then gone the first five overs without a boundary that is the second such instance in all their Twenty20 Internationals. The last time a similar incidence took place was against Pakistan in December 2011.

Shakib Al Hasan opened the floodgates for the team when he smeared two consecutive boundaries in the fifth and sixth delivery of Karim janat at the end of the powerplay. Together with Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib raised Bangladesh’s fifty by hitting Gulbadin Naib with back-to-back boundaries. Getting a save on 14, Mushfiqur Rahim joined with marauding Shakib and blasted Janat for six that was applauded by nearly sold-out home crowd.

But Karim Janat hastened his departure when Mushfiq dragged a pull into the hands of Shafiqullah Shafiq at deep mid-wicket. The wicketkeeper-batsman struck 26 off 25 with a six before caught out by Shafiq off Janat.

Mahmudullah Riyad came to join Shakib but Rashid Khan made a brief stay of Riyad, who was trapped leg-before when he fell over looking to sweep, getting struck on the front pad that caused not much hesitation from the umpire to respond the chanting Afghan fielders. This time Rashid Khan received hamstring injury though he returned to action after just two overs.  

After losing Sabbir Rahman cheaply, Shakib knocked the slower of Naveen-ul-Haq for double through mid-wicket to bring up his ninth fifty.

Afghanistan took an impromptu drinks break because of a power failure that had caused a delay of around 10 minutes, as one of the floodlight towers had conked out at 12.4 overs of the fixture.

After the match resumed, Afif Hossain walked back to the pavilion having clean bowled by Rashid Khan whose leg-break, considered lethal after his googly, fizzed through from a length and smashed the leg stump.

Shakib then slotted home with triumph partnering Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, who milked the winning shot remaining unbeaten on 19 off 12, including a six.

Shakib thumped eight boundaries and a maximum in his indefatigable knock of 45-ball 70 that adjudged him player of the match.

Earlier, Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan chose to field first after winning the toss. Afghan openers raced off to 75 for zero, only to later collapse with a heap of wickets, reminiscent of their effort against Zimbabwe on Friday and were restricted to 138 in their stipulated 20 overs.

Pacer Shafiul Islam made a good wicket-taking chance for Bangladesh in the fifth ball of his first over when he tested Rahmanullah Gurbaz with a nippy bouncer that was top-edged towards fine leg, where Mahmudullah Riyad trekked back and went reverse cup only to shell it.

Then the home side could not take any wicket during the powerplay, despite having a run-out chance and the openers settled them at wickets with some explosive shots.

It is young bowler Afif Hossain, who pushed Afghanistan back with his double strike when he removed Hazratullah Zazai and Asghar Afghan in his maiden wicket over. Of them, Zazai fell three runs shy of his half-century. Afghan fell for two-ball duck. Mustafizur Rahman then got rid of opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz when he tried to paddle a length ball square but it flew into the night sky off the bat’s face that the bowler comfortably palmed it.

Shakib Al Hasan dented Afghanistan’s innings further when he pinned Mohammad Nabi down and took his 350th T20 wicket as Nabi missed the flick that hit his front leg while the tourists were flailing at 88-4.

Gulbadin Naib faced an unfortunate run-out when Najibullah Zadran nudged the delivery to point for a quick single but fielder Mahmudullah swooped in and threw the ball under-hand while diving forward and the keeper whipped the bails off collecting it when the batsman was short by a few inches.

Mohammad Saifuddin clean bowled Najibullah Zadran for 14. Shafiul Islam picked his second wicket when he accounted for Karim Janat, who holed out for three. Rashid remained at stumps on 13-ball 11 with Shafiqullah Shafiq making 23.

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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