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Afghanistan chase 661 run target

Shanto hits back-to-back century

Published : 16 Jun 2023 10:14 PM

Nazmul Hossain Shanto perked up with his back to back century, Mominul Haque scored his 12th Test hundred that generated a huge chance for Bangladesh to win the one off Test against Afghanistan.

Besides, tons from Shanto and Mominul, Zakir Hasan and the captain Litton Das also contributed a lot with 71 and 66 runs respectively, as Bangladesh set a mammoth 662 run target for Afghanistan to win the Test when Litton Das declared the innings for 425 just before one and a half hours to end the third day’s play.

The highest record of chasing in the fourth innings was 418 runs to win a Test match.   

But the Afghanistan batters chasing the enormous target of 662 began the innings with a golden duck when Shoriful got Ibrahim Zadran out for leg-before with his first ball of the innings.    

Afghanistan saw another massive blow losing the second wicket with Taskin Ahmed striking with the fifth ball of the second over to get the other opener Abdul Malik out for five runs as the Afghan scorecard showed only seven.

Shoriful, who struck first in Afghanistan’s first innings taking Ibrahim Zadran’s wicket, in the second innings also the pacer got Ibrahim out.

Zadran was beaten by a full ball that hit the front pad and Shoriful appealed for leg-before and umpire sustained the claim, and Zadran despite taking a review, the decision was not changed.

After the early disaster, beside retired hurt of the captain Hashmatullah Shahidi for 13, Afghanistan ended the day without any damage when Rahmat Shah and Nasir Jamal were unbeaten with 10 and five runs respectively.

Earlier, thanks to brilliant hundreds, hit one each by Shanto and Mominul set the stage for Bangladesh to score 415 runs in the second innings to take 661 runs lead, and from that position Tigers can smell a victory in the one-off Test against Afghanistan.

Tigers after starting the third day with their overnight 134 runs and 370 runs lead, extended the tally to 491 runs at lunch when the story of the first session of the third day was all about Nazmul Hossain Shanto, as he reached his second century.

Shanto became the second Bangladeshi to earn the feat when incidentally, Mominul Haque, who had the credit as the first batter to do so was at the other end to congratulate Shanto.

However, the Tigers handed no chance to the Afghan bowlers to make harm, as they did on the second day morning in the first innings taking five wickets in quick successions when they played aggressively and piled a second innings total 425 to take a mammoth 661 runs overall lead.   

Najmul Hossain Shanto continued his scintillating batting display as he brought up his second century in the match with playing confidently when he played only 115 balls, hitting 13 fours to complete his century.

Shanto scored 124 off 151 balls when the one down left-hand bat scored almost half of his runs with boundaries smashing 15 fours before Zahir Khan got him out, the biggest success in the second session of Afghan bowlers following Zakir Hasan’s run out.

It was a soft dismissal of Shanto when he picked up Zahir Khan towards short midwicket where Abdul Malik took a simple catch.    

Zakir Hasan, who looked regain his confidence, played 173 runs runs in the second wicket partnership, missed the century when he was run out in an unnecessary manner. He called for a third run without properly watching whether the throw from Ibrahim Zadran was coming quickly from the deep that found Zakir short at the striker's end after Nasir Jamal saved Shanto's shot around the third-man boundary.   

Mominul, recent past Tigers’ Test captain, who scored last century (127) two years ago against Sri Lanka had his 12th Test century during on the third day's second session when he began the session on 43, worked his way towards a big score.

 The Afghanistan bowlers had some solace taking two wickets in the second session when Zahir Khan removed Shanto and Mushfiqur Rahim in the same over.

But captain Litton Das, who could not shine in the first innings, scored unbeaten 66 runs off 80 balls before declaring the innings to invite Afghanistan to bat.