Afghanistan put its final nail on the coffin thumping a third victory in the T20 series against Bangladesh. Winning the final T20 International match by a single run, it whitewashed the series by 3-0. In the latest tussle, Stanikzai’s men scored 145 runs for 6 wickets, while defending the score in the next innings. The match was a tough tug-o-war but finally it was Afghan bowlers who pulled out the victory. Rashid Khan, especially, was crucial to nick the win.
Afghanistan started with the headstrong partnership between openers Mohammad Shahzad and Usman Ghani. The duo played through the powerplay bringing 55 runs in 7.4 overs. Nazmul Islam trapped Shahzad breaking the partnership stretch as the batsman scored 26 off 22 balls. In the next over, the struggling Usman Ghani was done away by Abu Jayed as he tried to pull a shot. The batsmen struck hefty boundaries in the early overs, but the momentum became sluggish by the eight over. Latter, Asghar Stanikzai and Samiullah Shenwari built up the score hauling it to near 100.
The skipper knocked three sixes in the 13th over pushing the score forward, but he lost his wicket in same over. Stanikzai scored 27 runs off 17, while Shenwari remained unbeaten. However, it was the last palpable partnership of the innings as the rest of players could not deliver more. In the match, Bangladesh bowled with a good difference to their previous campaigns. In the last two overs, the players bowled with strong economy. Spin bowlers had a good grip over the pitch, taking down wickets while restricting the flow of runs.
Bangladesh started the chase losing three wickets in the powerplay overs. Opener Tamim Iqbal was the first to fall at the over from Mujeeb Ur Rahman. In the sixth over, Mohammed Nabi attacked Soumya Sarkar and Liton Das, hitting the chase at 35 for 3. The next wicket came up in the ninth over, but it was followed by the long partnership between Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah. The duo added more than 50 runs playing together until the final over. Rahim scored 46 runs off 37, while Mahmudullah knocked 45 off 38.
In the last two overs, Bangladesh required 30 runs but Rahim and Mahmudullah hauled the chase to a near victory mark. The responsibility to defend the score in the last over was on Rashid Khan. The bowler took down Rahim, while Mahmudullah was out in the last ball. Bangladesh lost the game with the narrowest margin, but it culminated as a series whitewash from Afghanistan.
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