Asia Cup 2018: Birthday boy Rashid inspires Afghanistan to win

22 September, 2018, 13:28 | Author: Irvin Gilbert
  • Sports       by Usman Arshad | Published

Both Bangladesh and Afghanistan have already made it to the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup 2018 and the victor of the match will be the table topper of Group B. However, it does not matter who tops the groups stage because all teams in Super Four will play against each other.

Afghanistan had won the toss and elected to bat and initially struggled against the disciplined Bangladeshi bowling.

A win for either team will help them finish the group stage with 100% record.

Chasing 256, Bangladesh succumbed to Afghanistan spinners to be bowled out for 119 in 42.1 overs.

Shakib and Mahmudullah added 36 runs for Bangladesh before Rashid Khan arrived to the scene and picked the big wicket of Shakib.

If they want to make change, Mohammad Shahzad, Aftab Alam and Guladin Naib could get a break. Afghanistan, the 10th ranked ODI team has thrashed Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in their group games to finish as the toppers and were also playing Pakistan with a lot of authority in the Super Four stage. Afghanistan have two ODI wins out of five against Bangladesh.

Bangladesh hoped for redemption through Mahmudullah (27), but again Rashid, who just turned 20, bowled the batsman with a googly that did not turn as much as expected.

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Rashid's delivery beat Shakib completely for pace as the batsman went back but was a bit late to bring his bat down in the 24th over.

The next over, pacer Aftab Alam trapped Liton Das (6) LBW with an inswing delivery to reduce Bangladesh to 17 for 2. Hider then went on to pick the wicket of Rahmat Shah to leave Afghanistan in a spot with just 28 runs on the board.

Rashid's 57 came from just 32 balls and he scored eight fours as well as the innings' only maximum, while his 2-13 with the ball came from nine overs, three of which were maidens. However, Rashid (57 not out) and Naib (42 not out) made the final 10 overs count with a flurry of boundaries.

Earlier, Hashmatullah Shahidi hit a painstaking 58 to revive Afghanistan after they were jolted by left-arm spinner Shakib who finished with 4-42 in his ten overs.

Naib had Mominul Haque (9) caught by wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad before disturbing the stumps of Mohammad Mithun (2). Considering both these teams will be in action the very next day after facing each other, it will be interesting to see if the intensity will still remain high for an inconsequential match that will be played under sweltering heat.

Shakib then added another wicket to his kitty in the 34th over by having Samiullah Shenwari (18) to reduce Afghanistan to 239 for 5.

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