Rashid, Nabi power Afghanistan to series win

Rashid, Nabi and Mujeeb claimed combined figures of 6 for 46 in 12 overs to run through Bangladesh's batting line-up. S

The spin trio of Afghanistan once again came to the fore as Bangladesh batters surrendered in meek fashion.   -  SANDEEP SAXENA

Rashid Khan (four for 12) continued to weave his magic around Bangladesh batsmen. Samiullah Shenwari (49 off 41, 2x4, 3x6) held the Afghanistan innings together. And all-rounder Mohammad Nabi (31 n.o. off 15, 3x4, 2x6) played the finisher's role to perfection. The triumvirate made the home team's task much easier as Afghanistan sealed the three-match Twenty20 series against Bangladesh at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Tuesday.

Chasing a target of 135, Nabi's cameo ensured Afghanistan crossed the line with seven balls and six wickets to spare. With Shakib Al Hasan relying on spin till the 18th over, it looked like the Dehradun crowd would witness a nail-biting finish.

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But the moment Rubel Hossain came on to bowl his last over, Nabi hammered the pacer for two sixes and as many fours. The seasoned all-rounder ended Bangladesh's misery with a huge six over long-on.

Earlier in the evening, Bangladesh chose to bat first in an attempt to put the Afghanistan spinners under pressure. However, for the second time in three nights, led by Rashid's accurate and effective bowling, the Afghan spin trio stifled the Bangladesh batsmen. The three spinners shared combined figures of 46 for six in 12 overs to tighten the noose on the opposition batsmen.

Unlike in the first match, Rashid held himself back till the halfway stage. But it was his third over that did the damage. He got rid of the dangerous Mahmudullah, Shakib and sheet anchor Tamim Iqbal (43 off 48, 5x4) in the 16th over, with the last two being dismissed off consecutive deliveries.

Bangladesh, which had banked on Tamim to finish the innings on a high after setting himself up, just couldn't recover as it managed a meagre 31 runs off the last four overs.

Nazmul Islam gave Bangladesh an ideal start with two successive maiden overs at the start of the innings. However, the fact that none of the Bangladesh bowlers turned out to be wicket-taking options like their counterparts ended up costing the visitor dearly.