Shakib sails Bangladesh to T20i win against Afghanistan
Bangladesh finally have won a T20i match against Afghanistan. Hosts beat guests by four wickets after Shakib Al Hasan's all-round performance in the last group stage match of the ongoing T20i tri-series at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on Saturday.
Winning the toss Bangladesh invited Afghanistan to bat first and restricted them below 140 after thankful spells from bowlers though guests got striking start from openers. Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Hazratullah Zazai hoarded 75 before Afif Hossain strike for Bangladesh. Afif hunted Zazai when he was three short of a half century.
Asghar Afghan promoted at three but become the second prey of Afif yet before opening the account. Mustafizur Rahman joins the party picking up the wicket of set batsman Gurbaz, who had gone for 29. After Gurbaz's departure, host bowlers got the control over the opponent batsmen and started to grasp wickets in regular intervals. But man at seven Shafiqullah's buck gave visitors a fighting total of 138 for seven.
Afif Hossain claimed two wickets while Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Shafiul Islam and Mustafizur Rahman shared one wicket each for Bangladesh.
To chase a gettable target, Bangladesh openers threw their wickets cheaply to put 12 runs on the board. Two most reliable Bangladesh batsmen Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim started to control the radar from then and stood a valuable 58-run partnership to keep Bangladesh on the right track. Mushfiqur returned dug out scoring 26 runs.
But sudden power fault consumed seven minutes of ZACS game. Blackout at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium delayed eight minutes in the opener of the tournament on September 13. Such faults might raise finger at BCB's technical skills and facilities.
However, the game resumed with bad luck for Bangladesh since they lost three wickets quickly. But it was Shakib's day and Shakib remained unbeaten till last to berth his side to the winning port. Bangladesh skipper assembled 70 runs from 40 deliveries with eight boundaries accompanied by one over boundary.
Bangladesh at length reached at 139 for six with six balls to spare to break Afghan jinx. Hosts with three wins among four group matches thereby soared on top of the point table while Afghanistan are at second spot with two wins.
These two sides will engage in the final of the tournament on September 24 at the Home of Cricket Mirpur.