Left-arm pacer Shoriful Islam’s career-best four for 21 helped Bangladesh avoid being swept when it beat Afghanistan by seven wickets in a One-Day International on Tuesday.
Afghanistan won the first two ODIs, including a record total of 331 for nine on Saturday. But three days later, the visitors were bowled out for 126 in 45.2 overs.
Bangladesh raced to the target in 23.3 overs, reaching 129 for three with an unbeaten 53 from captain Liton Das.
A change of bowlers by Bangladesh made the difference. Shoriful came in, along with fast bowler Taskin Ahmed and left-arm spinner Taijul Islam. The latter pair picked up two wickets apiece.
Taskin and Shoriful maintained a better line and length and Shoriful swung the ball brilliantly to strike twice in his first over. He got the better of Ibrahim Zadran, a century-maker on Saturday, and Rahmat Shah. Both edged behind in single figures.
Taskin undid Rahamanullah Gurbaz, who hammered 145 in the last ODI, with a short delivery that the opener could only top edge on 6.
When Shoriful changed his angle to dismiss Mohammad Nabi, Afghanistan was 15 for four.
No. 7 batter Azmatullah Omarzai scored 56 to help Afghanistan pass 100. His partnership with Mujeeb Ur Rahman for the ninth wicket of 36 was their highest of the innings.
Omarzai was the last batter out when he top-edged a slower delivery by Taskin at long-on.
Bangladesh lost Mohammad Naim, the replacement for Tamim Iqbal, for a duck early in the chase. And pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi also dismissed Najmul Hossain for 11 to reduce Bangladesh to 28 for two.
But a 61-run partnership between Liton and Shakib Al Hasan settled Bangladesh. Shakib left for a run-a-ball 39.
Liton pulled off-spinner Mujeeb for a boundary over midwicket to raise his 10th fifty off 57 balls.
Towhid Hridoy cut debutant Ziaur-ur-Rahman past point for a boundary to bring up the victory. He was 22 not out.
Farooqi took two for 26 for eight wickets from three ODIs and was named Man-of-the-Series.
The sides play two Twenty20s at Sylhet on Friday and Sunday.
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