Afghanistan notched up their first major win against a Test playing nation as they produced an all-round performance to script an upset 32-run victory over Bangladesh in their Asia Cup match, here today.
Chasing 255 for victory, Bangladesh could not recover from a top-order collapse and kept on losing wickets at regular intervals to be bundled out for 222 in 47.5 overs at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium to slump to their second consecutive loss in the five-nation regional tournament.
Barring Mominul Haque (50), Nasir Hossain (41) and Ziaur Rahman (41), none of their batsmen showed enough patience to stay at the crease and grind it out.
Rahman tried to change the course of the game with a few lusty blows towards the end but his efforts could not stop Afghanistan from creating a cricketing history.
Afghanistan’s inexperience at the international level was on full display when their butterfingered fielders dropped as many as four catches and gave away few easy runs.
But the gutsy team from the strife-torn nation held its nerve to pull off a dramatic victory over Bangladesh, kicking off jubilant celebrations in their camp.
This was after rearguard half-centuries from Asghar Stanikzai (90 not out) and Samiullah Shenwari (81) took the visitors to 254 for 6 after being put in to bat.
Afghanistan were once in trouble at 90/5, but Stanikzai and Shenwari got together and added 164 from 138 balls for the sixth-wicket partnership to take Afghanistan past 250.
Bangladesh conceded 107 runs from last 10 overs as the duo of Stanikzai and Shenwari first stressed on building the innings and then unleashed an array of powerful strokes at the death to post a competitive total.
Bangladesh started their run chase on a disastrous note, losing openers Shamsur Rahman (0) and Anamul Haque (1) with
just one run on the board.
Mominul and Mushfiqur Rahim (23) tried to resurrect the innings with a 68-run stand for the third wicket but both were dismissed in quick succession to leave Bangladesh reeling at 88 for 4 halfway through their innings.
Momimul was castled by Samiullah Shenwari just after the batsman completed his half-century, laced with six fours.
Hossain cashed in on two dropped chances to score a patient 60-ball 41 and also raised a 73-run stand for the fifth wicket with Naeem Islam (35) to provide stabilitity to the floundering innings.
Hossain was first dropped by Asghar Stanikzai off Hamza Hotak at backward point when he was batting on 1 and couple of overs later by Samiullah Shenwari off his own bowling.
The partnership was broken by Mirwais Ashraf when he had Hossain caught by Shenwari at backward point in the 39th over to trigger another familiar Bangladesh collapse.
Bangladesh lost Islam, Abdur Razzak (0) and Arafat Sunny (0) within continued…