Rashid Khan leads Afghanistan to comfortable win
12 months ago Arani Basu | TNN 0
Two of Afghanistan’s most potent weapons—Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman—sliced through Bangladesh top order to mark a memorable start to their first ever ‘home’ series here on Sunday night as the city celebrated its maiden international cricket game at the Rajiv Gandhi stadium.
The first T20I, played amidst some chaos and much fanfare, ended in a lopsided 45-run win for Afghanistan whose stalwarts stepped up their game and never let Bangladesh dominate proceedings after posting 167/8. Mujeeb and Rashid wasted no time in making an impact with the ball once the Bangladesh chase started. Both dismissed a top Bangladesh batsmen off their first delivery — Mujeeb got Tamim Iqbal leg before while Rashid castled Mushfiqur Rahim. Rashid trapped Sabbir Rahman off the next ball and was on a hat-trick.
The off-spin of veteran Mohammad Nabi made sure that batsmen didn’t put the other young spinners under any sort of pressure with figures of 2/21 in four overs even as Rashid stole the limelight with 3/13 in three overs.
As much as the bowlers made an impact, the Afghan batsmen can also claim credit for the victory. Mohammad Shahzad bided time on the sluggish pitch and set a platform for his mates down the order with a 37-ball 40. Smiullah Shenwari and Shafiqullah Shafiq then clobbered 36 (18b) and 34 (8b) respectively to deflate the Bangladeshi attack.