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Narrow escape for rusty Tigers

  • Published at 02:40 pm September 25th, 2016
  • Last updated at 02:41 am September 26th, 2016
Narrow escape for rusty Tigers

The visitors required 77 runs in the last 10 overs with eight wickets in hand and things looked clumsy for the Tigers but fast bowler Taskin Ahmed, making his comeback in international cricket, helped Bangladesh snatch a brilliant win.

Taskin picked up two wickets each in the 48th and 50th over while fellow pacer Rubel Hossain provided valuable support as the Tigers snatched a hard fought win after playing their first ODI in nearly 10 months.

But it was champion cricketer Shakib al Hasan who was really instrumental behind the win as the left arm spinner bowled superbly, bagging two wickets from his 10 overs giving away only 26 runs.

In the process, he became the leading wicket taker in ODIs for the Tigers, leaving behind Abdur Razzak, who has 207 wickets. Shakib is now the leading Bangladesh wicket taker across all three formats.

However, the Afghans gave a tough time to the home side coming into the chase of 266 with Shakib dismissing opening batsman Shabir Noori up front while Mohammad Shahzad scored a quick 31 off 21 balls but was dismissed immediately after smashing a brilliant six off skipper Mashrafe bin Mortaza.

But Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi took over control against the Bangladeshi bowlers as the pair added 144 runs for the third wicket and at one point, it looked like the batting side could easily chase down the target.

Both the batsman struck fifties and were dominating the Bangladeshi bowlers as they also received some help from the Tigers fielders with Mahmudullah dropping an easy catch off Hashmatullah in a vital situation.

But Shakib gave the all-important breakthrough to the Tigers as he dismissed Rahmat, who made 71 off 93 balls with two fours and three sixes. Hashmatullah was the next to follow after scoring 72 off 110 balls as Bangladesh gained the much needed momentum. Skipper Mashrafe played his part with the ball and bagged 2/42 from his 10 overs while Rubel also bagged a couple. Earlier, Bangladesh posted 265, riding on half centuries from Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah. However, the home side ended up at least 20-30 runs short in the end. Captain Mashrafe opted to bat as Soumya Sarkar continued his poor run and gave a simple catch at mid-wicket trying to pull pacer Dawlat Zadran without troubling the scorers. But Tamim and Imrul Kayes held the ship and added 83 runs for the second wicket before the latter  finally departed after scoring 37 off 53 balls to Mohammad Nabi. Tamim then paired up with Mahmudullah and added 79 runs as the left-hander reached his 33rd ODI fifty with a late cut through point region. The home side were in total control and were heading towards a big total as Tamim slowly approached his seventh ODI century. However, he too departed after scoring 80 off 98 balls featuring nine fours to pacer Mirwais Ashraf in the 36th over. Shakib joined Mahmudullah as the latter reached his 15th ODI fifty but he too followed Tamim just when the home side needed to blaze all guns scoring 62 off 74 with five fours and two sixes. Bangladesh were unable to utilise the situation and apart from Shakib’s 40-ball 48 at the end, the Tigers middle order failed as the home side added 69 runs in the last 10 overs. Pacer Dawlat ended up picking four wickets but he was expensive and gave away 73 runs from his 10 overs while off spinner Nabi and leg spinner Rashid Khan bagged two wickets each and managed to kept things tight for the bowling side. Bangladesh playing XI Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim (WK), Mahmudullah, Shakib al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mashrafe bin Mortaza (C), Taskin Ahmed, Taijul Islam, Rubel Hossain Afghanistan playing XI Mohammad Shahzad (WK), Shabir Noori, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Stanikzai (C), Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mirwais Ashraf, Dawlat Zadran, Naveen-ul-Haq. Brief Score (50 overs) Bangladesh 265 (Tamim 80, Mahmudullah 62, Shakib 48, Imrul 37, Dawlat 4/73) beat Afghanistan 258 (Shahidi 72, Rahmat 71, Taskin 4/59, Shakib 2/26, Mashrafe 2/42) by seven runs
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