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Spinners put Afghanistan on course for massive win

08 Sep 2019 CricBuzz

Afghanistan's spin attack put their side on course for a massive win over Bangladesh in the one-off Test at Chattogram. Chasing a daunting 398 for an unlikely win on a turning track, Bangladesh lost wickets with just 136 on the board before rain brought an early finish to the day's play.

Afghanistan, already with a lead of 374 by stumps on day 3, added 23 more runs on the fourth morning following a lengthy rain interruption. Yamin Ahmadzai signalled his intentions early with a massive six and alongside Afsar Zazai, he stretched the lead to 390 before Bangladesh were gifted a wicket. Zazai attempted a quick single that resulted in Ahmadzai getting run out at the striker's end. Mushfiqur Rahim, who had squandered a run out opportunity earlier in the day, made no mistake this time. Seven balls later, Zahir Khan handed the silly point fielder an easy catch as Bangladesh managed to keep the target just below 400.

Bangladesh did make a decent start with their makeshift opening pair of Liton Das and Shadman Islam as they added 30 runs in nine overs before the lunch break. But Afghanistan came back strong in the second session to take complete control of the game. Zahir's first over after the break was eventful as Liton first successfully managed to overturn a decision against him for caught behind before getting trapped plumb in front just two balls later.

The hosts then promoted Mosaddek Hossain up the order following his gutsy effort in the first innings but the experiment failed with the batsman gifting his wicket to the opposition while attempting a big shot against Zahir. Asghar Afghan judged the catch to perfection while running backwards towards long-off.

Mushfiqur Rahim then came out with a positive intent and picked up regular boundaries to move to 22 off 20 at one stage. But Rashid Khan cut short his stay with one that didn't turn at all as the batsman was trapped leg-before-wicket. In his following over, Rashid struck again and this time, it was the big wicket of Mominul Haque, who was the only batsman to cross 50 for Bangladesh in the first innings.

Having already lost four wickets before crossing three-figures, the pressure was firmly on the experienced campaigner Shakib Al Hasan to keep his side floating in the game. But at the other end, it was Mohammad Nabi's turn to open his wickets column as a slider accounted for Shadman. Rashid then struck again, to pick up his eighth wicket of the game as Mahmudullah's torrid run continued. The batsman got an inside edge onto the pad that was easily pouched by the short leg fielder.

Soumya Sarkar finally came out to bat at number eight joining his skipper to try and prolong the inevitable before the heavens opened again to temporarily put an end to Bangladesh's misery.

Brief scores: Bangladesh 205 & 136/6 (Shadman Islam 41, Shakib Al Hasan 39*; Rashid Khan 3-46, Zahir Khan 2-36) need another 262 runs v Afghanistan 342 & 260 (Ibrahim Zadran 87, Asghar Afghan 50; Shakib Al Hasan 3-58)


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