Friday, March 22, 2019

Afghanistan whitewash Bangladesh in T20 series in last-ball thriller

  • Sport Correspondent,
    Published: 2018-06-08 00:37:59 BdST


Bangladesh have suffered the embarrassment of a whitewash at the hands of Afghanistan after losing the nail-biting last of the three T20Is by 1 run in Dehradun.

Needing 4 runs off the final ball at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium on Thursday, Ariful Haque slog-swept a Rashid Khan flipper down the ground.

It looked to be going all the way for a six. But Shafiqullah Shafiq at long-on grabbed the ball and flicked it back just when his left foot was about to land outside the boundary.

Mohammad Nabi picked the ball and his throw then caught Mahmudullah (45 off 38) short as he desperately tried to take the third run.

The bowlers had done their bit to restrict Afghanistan to 145 for six after Bangladesh lost the toss.

Playing only for pride in the dead rubber, the Tigers started off poorly. The batsmen again struggled against the spin of Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Nabi.

Liton Das (12) and Soumya Sarkar's (15) run-outs in identical fashion in the space of two balls in the sixth over set the team's chase back.

But Mushfiqur Rahim (46 off 37) and Mahmiudullah stitched 84 runs for the fifth wicket to put them well on course.

With Bangladesh needing 30 runs off the last two overs, Mushfiqur bludgeoned five consecutive boundaries in the 19th over off Karim Janat to take 21 and bring the equation down to 9 off 6 balls.

But the world's number one T20I bowler was brought back to the attack to defend those runs.

Rashid bowled brilliantly to remove dangerous Mushfiqur with his first delivery and kept the other batsmen quiet to snatch the thrilling one-run win.

Earlier, Afghanistan had a solid opening stand in contrast to their opponents thanks to Mohammad Shahzad (26) and Usman Ghani (19) who put up 55 runs.

Bowlers then brought Bangladesh into the game with twin strikes.

Left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam trapped Shahzad lbw in the eighth over before Ghani edged Abu Jayed back to Mushfiqur.

Captain Asghar Stanikzai hit three sixes in his cameo of 27 off 17 to provide the impetus before Samiullah Shenwari’s unbeaten 33 off 28 and Najibullah Zadran’s 15 took the Afghans to the total.

Mushfiqur was adjudged the man of the match while Rashid was named the player of the series for his sensational leg-spin wizardry.

Bangladesh had lost the first match by 45 run and series-deciding second by six wickets after failing with both the ball and bat.