Afghanistan registered a seven-wicket win against Bangladesh in the Group B match of the Asia Cup T20 cricket tournament on Tuesday. Chasing the target of 128 runs from Bangladesh, the Afghan team easily won the match by scoring 131 runs in 18.3 overs for the loss of three wickets.
Sharjah: After the magic of Mujeeb ur Rahman and Rashid Khan, the unbeaten innings of Najibullah Zadran and Ibrahim Zadran helped Afghanistan to beat Bangladesh by seven wickets in a Group B match played in Sharjah on Tuesday for their second consecutive win. Became the first team to make it to the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup T20 cricket tournament. Chasing Bangladesh’s 128-run target, Afghanistan posted a 69-run fourth-wicket partnership between Najibullah (43 not out in 17 balls and one four) and Ibrahim (42 not out in 41 balls). With the ball remaining, he scored 131 runs for three wickets and won. Najibullah gave Afghanistan victory by hitting a six on Mosaddek Hossain.
Earlier, Mujeeb 16 while Rashid took three wickets for 22 runs, so that Bangladesh could only manage 127 runs for seven wickets. Mosaddek Hossain (48 not out, 31 balls, four fours, one six) played a career-best innings while Mahmudullah (25) made useful contributions to take Bangladesh to a challenging score. Both of them also shared a 36-run partnership for the sixth wicket. The start of Afghanistan, who came to chase the target, was also not good. Rahmanullah Gurbaz (11) got life on the ball of Shakib Al Hasan (1 for 13) on the score of six runs but he could not take advantage of it and was stumped by the Bangladesh captain.
Opener Hazratullah Zazai (25) took the team’s score to 29 for one wicket in the power play with two fours on Mehdi Hasan. Ibrahim also hit a four on Taskin Ahmed but Mossadek (one wicket for 12 runs) made Hazratullah leg before. He hit three fours in his 26-ball innings. Mohammad Saifuddin (1 for 27) took Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi (08) lbw to make Afghanistan’s score 62 for three in the 13th over.
Ibrahim eased the run-rate pressure with two consecutive fours on Taskin. Afghanistan needed 52 runs to win in the last five overs. Najibullah showed his attitude after this. After hitting Mehdi for the first six of the innings, he took Afghanistan to the threshold of victory by hitting two sixes each on Mustafizur and then Saifuddin. Najibullah ensured the team’s victory in the 19th over with a six over Mosaddek and propelled him into the Super Four.
Electing to bat after winning the toss, Bangladesh lost the wickets of both openers Mohammad Naeem (06) and Anamul Haque (05) for 13 runs in the fourth over. After off-spinner Mujeeb bowled Naeem on the carrom ball, Anamul was caught leg before. Captain Shakib Al Hasan (11) hit two consecutive fours on Naveen-ul-Haq but Mujeeb also bowled him in the next over. Bangladesh’s team could only score 28 runs for three wickets in the power play.
Star leg-spinner Rashid gave Bangladesh the fourth blow by lbw the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim (01) off his second ball. Afif Hossain (12) and Mahmudullah took over the innings. Both took the team’s score to 50 runs for four wickets in 10 overs, but during this innings only four fours were hit. Rashid broke this partnership of 25 runs by taking Afif lbw.
Mossadek hit Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi for the first six of the innings. However, he was lucky as Ajmatullah Umarzai took his catch and bounced the ball towards Rashid but his foot touched the boundary. Mahmudullah along with Mosaddek took the team’s score beyond 100 runs. Rashid ended this partnership by getting Mahmudullah caught by Ibrahim Zadran. Mosaddek took the team’s score beyond 100 runs in the 17th over with a four on Fazlak Farooqui. Mossadek had a chance to complete the first half-century of his career in the last over of the innings, but he could only score two runs after playing two balls.