Asia Cup 2022: Group B, Bangladesh vs Afghanistan: Najibullah Zadran's 43* off 17, Rashid Khan's 3-22 and Mujeeb Ur Rahman 3-16 are top performances. Afghanistan beat Bangladesh in Group B fixture by 7 wickets; enter Super 4.
Brief Scores: Afghanistan 131/3 (Najibullah Zadran 43*, Ibrahim Zadran 42*, Mosaddek 1/12) beat Bangladesh 127/7 (Mosaddek Hossain 48*, Mujeeb 3/16, Rashid 3/22) by 7 wickets
Player of the Match: Mujeeb Ur Rahman for his 3/16
2018 Asia Cup runners-up Bangladesh took on the rampaging Afghanistan in the 3rd game of the 2022 edition of the Asia Cup at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
Before this game, the 2 teams met on 8 occasions in T20Is with Afghanistan coming on top 5 of those times, while Bangladesh won 3 of those fixtures.
Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan won the toss and surprisingly opted to bowl first. Afghanistan played with the same winning combination as expected while there were no surprises in store as far as the Bangladeshi line-up was concerned.
Afghanistan seals a place in Super 4 with a superlative win over Bangladesh at Sharjah
Having won the last game against Sri Lanka rather comprehensively by 8 wickets in their opening game, the Mohammad Nabi-led side once again started well after being asked to bowl first, ie their stronger suit. Bangladesh got off to the worst possible start as they lost both their openers Anamul Haque (5), Mohammad Naim (6) and skipper Shakib (11) inside the powerplay to Mujeeb with just 28 runs on the board.
The wily leg-spinner Rashid Khan then accounted for the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim for 1 in the very next over as Bangladesh found themselves in deep trouble. The leggie also sent back Afif Hossain for 12 who was looking to take Bangladesh to a respective total along with former captain Mahmudullah.
Then Mahmudullah combining with the all-rounder Mosaddek Hossain stitched useful 36 runs off 31 balls and that helped them go past the 100-run mark. Mosaddek was the only one who looked at ease on a tricky wicket as remained unbeaten on 48 from just 31 balls as he and Mahedi Hasan (14) propelled the score to 127/7, giving Bangladeshi bowlers something to bowl at.
Defending a low target of 128, Bangladeshi bowlers started very well as they gave away only 29 runs off the powerplay with Shakib taking an important scalp of Rahmanullah Gurbaz for 11. Zazai, the usually free-flowing left-hander found it tough out in the middle and eventually was struck in front by Mosaddek who continued to have a good game. Skipper Nabi too departed for 8 in the 13th over with Afghanistan still needing 66 off the last 7 overs with as many wickets in hand.
Bangladesh might have fancied their chances but the 2 Zadrans (Najibullah and Ibrahim) pummelled 69 runs off 33 balls to give Afghanistan their second win of the tournament. They now become the 1st team to reach the Super 4 stage with this win.
Let’s take a look at the top three performances from the third game between Bangladesh and Afghanistan in Asia Cup 2022:
Mujeeb Ur Rahman spins a web around Bangladesh’s top-order with 3/16
Mujeeb Ur Rahman as often he does in T20I cricket took the new ball in the powerplay and once again showed his true class as he made the Bangladesh batters dance to his tunes. First, he accounted for the opener Mohammad Naim in the 2nd over of the game where he castled the batter courtesy of his potent Carrom Ball.
Then in his next, he sent packing the other opener Anamul Haque who succumbed to Mujeeb’s off-spinner in an attempt to sweep and was adjudged leg-before for 5. The 21-year-old got his 3rd wicket when he foxed the seasoned campaigner Shakib into playing a false stroke off a carrom ball and have his timber disturbed for 11. Mujeeb ended with great figures of 3/16 in his 4 overs while bowling 3 of them in the powerplays.
Rashid Khan at his usual best in his spell of 3/22
Rashid Khan showed why he is one of the best in the business as far as white-ball cricket is with a tidy spell of 3/22 in his 4 overs. Like always Rashid didn’t give an inch to the Bangladeshi batsmen as he gave them tough courtesy of his googly’s and leg-breaks.
Rashid struck in his very first over sending back the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim for just 1 through the way of LBW. He then broke a developing partnership between Afif and Mahmudullah, when his leg break trapped the former plumb in front. Mahmudullah also fell to the wily leggie as he mistimed Rashid for 25 and was caught easily in deep midwicket.
Najibullah Zadran turns the game on its head with a power-filled 43* off just 17 balls
When Najibullah entered the crease, the Afghans were in a spot of bother with the score reading 62/3 in 13 overs, still needing a further 64 runs on what was a low & slow surface. While one may have taught the Bangladesh would continue to hold a stronghold courtesy of their spinners, Najibullah had other ideas along with Ibrahim.
The Zadrans combined well to wipe off the remaining runs sharing an unbeaten 69 runs off just 33 deliveries. Najibullah was the main talisman in this partnership as a powerhouse of a left-hander struck 6 sixes in his stunning knock of unbeaten 43 from 17 balls.
Points Table Asia Cup 2022
What’s to come
The fourth game of the Asia Cup will see India locking horns with Hong Kong on August 31 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai.