Afghanistan beats Bangladesh by seven wickets in Sharjah on Tuesday to advance to the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup as the topper of Group B. It's now a virtual knockout for the second place as Bangladesh takes on Sri Lanka in Dubai on Thursday.
BAN vs AFG Highlights Asia Cup 2022
Chasing 128, Afghanistan trudged to 48 for the loss of two wickets in 10 overs. Openers Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz fell for 23 and 11, respectively, as Bangladesh applied the squeeze in the first half. Mohammad Saifuddin trapped Mohammad Nabi leg before shortly after.
But with Afghanistan needing 66 from 42 balls, Ibrahim Zadran (42, 41b, 4x4) and Najibullah Zadran (43, 17b, 1x4, 6x6) brought out the big hits in an enterprising 69-run stand. The two blasted 39 in the 17th and 18th over combined, with a flurry of boundaries, eventually getting over the line with nine balls to spare.
Asia Cup 2022: What is the Super 4 stage and who will qualify? Format explained
Earlier, Mujeeb Ur Rahman (3/16) and Rashid Khan (3/22) blew Bangladesh's batting to smithereens. Mosaddek Hossain's unbeaten 48 off 31 balls was the solitary silver lining.
Batting first on a slowish surface, Bangladesh lost Mohammad Naim to Mujeeb in the second over, clean bowled off a carrom ball. Mujeeb then had Anamul Haque out lbw in his second over before clean bowling skipper Shakib Al Hasan, playing his 100th T20I, in his third consecutive over. Bangladesh was 3 for 28 after the PowerPlay, with Mujeeb's first spell reading 3-0-9-3.
Trends that are likely to dominate Asia Cup 2022
It was now Rashid's turn to inflict more misery. He trapped Mushfiqur Rahim in front with the second ball of his first over. Although given not out initially, the decision was overturned upon review.
Bangladesh reached 50 in the 10th over before losing its fifth wicket; Rashid got Afif Hossain out lbw. Mahmudullah offered brief resistance in a 36-run partnership with Mosaddek but became Rashid's third victim of the night when he was caught in the 16th over.
Mosaddek's innings was gutsy but counted for very little in the end.
Brief Scores: Bangladesh: 127 for 7 in 20 overs (Mosaddek Hossain 48 not out; Mujeeb Ur Rahman 3/16, Rashid Khan 3/22); Afghanistan: 131 for 3 in 18.3 overs (Ibrahim Zadran 42 not out, Najibullah Zadran 43 not out; Mosaddek Hossain 1/12, Shakib Al Hasan 1/13)