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Asia Cup

Rashid enjoyed birthday party at Tigers expense

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Rashid enjoyed birthday party at Tigers expense
Pic: Collected A-A+

|| Desk Report ||

Birthday boy Rashid Khan all-round effort helped Afghanistan earned a comprehensive 136-run win over Bangladesh in the Asia Cup on Thursday.

Afghanistan posted 255-7 and later bowled out Tigers for 119 runs to go into the Super Four with high-scale confidence.

Rashid, who turned 20, blasted a 31-ball fifty to propel Afghanistan to a good total, then bagged two wickets for almost nothing and then affected a brilliant run-out as well and looked to be everywhere in the game.

An unbeaten 95-run eighth-wicket stand between birthday boy Rashid Khan and Gulbadin Naib after Hashmatullah Shahidi’s scoring 58 runs guided Afghanistan to a challenging 255-7 in 50 overs.

Later their bowlers bowled their heart out make life difficult for the opponent that looked simpley clue less against their discipline effort.

Mushfiqur Rahim, who scored a match winning knock against Sri Lanka was rested along with Mustafizur Rahman considering the grueling Super Four schedule as the game was more than a mere formality as both teams advanced to super four after defeating Sri Lanka in the group stage

Afghanistan were struggling to reach 200-run mark after they were held to 160-7 in the 41th over but Rashid struck an unbeaten 57 off 32 balls and Gulbadin made 42 off 38 balls to propel their side at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Both the batsmen hit Bangladeshi bowlers for numerous boundaries and put up 43 runs in last three overs to frustrate the Mashrafee bin Murtaza led the side.

Mashrafee bore the brunt of their onslaught, conceding 36 runs in the last two overs.

Rashid completed his third ODI fifty off 31 balls, hitting eight fours and a six to turn the momentum in their favour.

‘’I think Afghanistan outplayed us from the 40th over in the first innings. Our batting was not up to the mark and the bowling in last 10 overs was poor,’’ said Mashrafee.

‘’We have to be fresh for tomorrow's big match. It is hard to recover from the heat and back to back matches,’’ he said.

All-rounder Sakib al Hasan picked up 4-42 after debutant Abu Hider claimed two early wickets as Bangladesh were eyeing to restrict the Afghan in under minimum total.

Hider picked up his maiden wicket in 50-over cricket only off his third ball when he dismissed opener Ihsanullah Janat (eight) in the second over of the match after Afghanistan skipper Asghar Afghan won the toss and elected to bat first.

Hider provided an in-swinger to bowl Rahmat Shah (10) out in his third over to hold the Afghans to 28-2.

Sakib then joined Hider and dismissed Mohammad Shahzad (37), Asghar Afghan (eight) and Samiullah Shenwari (18) to continue the impressive start provided from the seamer.

Sakib then trapped Mohammad Nabi (10) in front to finish with the Bangladeshi best bowling figure against the Afghanistan while Rubel Hossain dismissed Hashmatullah before Rashid and Gulbadin powered Afghanistan to a modest total. They survived owing to a poor throw but the Afghans did not take too much of a time to make an inroad in batting line up as Bangladesh lost four wickets for 43 runs.

Nazmul (seven), Liton (six), Mominul Haque (nine) and Mohammad Mithun (two) all fell cheaply leaving the onus on Sakib and Mahmudullah to bail out the team. Nazmul and liton had a mix up but they suvived owing to a poor throw.

But the leg spin of Rashid was too much for them to handle as the Afghan birthday boy, who turned 20, ended Bangladesh’s resistance by picking up the wickets of the experienced duo.

The game ended as contest after Mahmudullah (27) followed Sakib (32) to the dressing room, which also made thousands of Bangladeshi fans leaving the ground. 

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