Bangladesh inflicted a comprehensive defeat of 61 runs to Afghanistan in the first of two-match T20I series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Thursday. This was the third highest win for Bangladesh in T20Is in terms of runs.
A win by 60-plus runs - that's some hammering in a T20 game. The surface had nothing to do with Afghanistan's meek batting display. Chasing 155, they were simply outplayed and didn't help themselves with some poor shot selection. Spinner Nasum, as he generally does these days, wreaked havoc in the powerplay and before Afghanistan knew it, they were four down and were playing catch up from then onwards.
The other Bangladesh bowlers continued with the good work and just refused to give any easy balls to the batters. Only three batters crossed double figures - a stat that should tell the story. It did seem at the halfway mark that Bangladesh were below-par with their total but Tigers bowlers made full use of the extra bounce in Mirpur’s pitch and made it into a comfortably match-winning total. Nasum ended with terrific figures of 4-10-4.
Earlier, bowling first, Afghanistan started off well, with pacer Farooqi striking early, before Rashid Khan came in, dried out the runs and built up pressure. They kept chipping away with wickets from one end, but in-form Liton Das held the other one tight, taking his time to settle and then cut loose to end up with a 44-ball 60. And although there was a flurry of wickets at the end, the boundaries kept coming, which took Bangladesh’s total at 155/8.
UNB Adds: Nasum Ahmed grabbed four early wickets after Liton Das smashed a fine 60 to guide Bangladesh to an easy 61-run victory against Afghanistan in the first T20I on Thursday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
In a full-packed stadium, at least 24,000 spectators cheered the Tigers in their thumping win demolishing the Afghans with 14 balls in hand.
Bangladesh posted 155-8 in 20 overs bating first after winning the toss. In reply, Afghanistan tumbled for 94 all out in 17.4 overs.
Najibullah Zadran was the best batter for Afghanistan scoring 27 off 26 balls. But his effort was not enough for the tourists to chase a challenging target of 156 runs.
Bangladesh left-arm spinner Nasum bagged four wickets conceding only 10 runs in four overs.
He struck in the very first over of the innings removing Rahmanullah Gurbaz for a duck. In his previous innings, in the third ODI prior to the T20 series, Gurbaz had a ton in Chattogram. But he failed to have a good start to the T20 series.
Afghanistan suffered an early setback when Gurbaz sliced an easy catch at the point area to Yasir Ali.
In the third over, Nasum removed Hazratullah Zazai and Darwish Rasooli in a span of three balls. While Zazai sent a catch to the mid-off, Rasooli missed the ball completely while going for a slog sweep.
Afghanistan continued to slip to Nasum. In the fifth over, Nasum removed Karim Janat, and with that, Nasum bagged all four wickets that Afghanistan lost at that stage of the match.
After Nasum, it was Shoriful Islam who contributed towards Afghanistan’s defeat. The left-arm seamer bagged three wickets conceding 29 runs in 3.4 overs.
Shakib Al Hasan chipped in with two wickets, while Mustafizur Rahman got one.
Earlier, Liton hit 60, his fifth fifty in the format, off 44 with two sixes and four fours.
Mohammad Naim and the debutant Munim Shahriar opened the innings for the hosts, but they failed to ensure a good start as they posted 10 in the first wicket stand.
Naim, who had a lean campaign during the last edition of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), failed to prove his mettle once again as he fell for two this time.
Munim had a good start as he struck a four early in his first international innings. But he couldn't carry it on as he fell for 17 off 18 balls with three fours. The number four batter, Shakib Al Hasan, also returned early scoring only five off six balls.
After Shakib, Mahmudullah Riyad also stayed only for a few minutes in the middle. The Bangladesh captain scored 10 off seven balls with a six.
However, Liton was firm at the other end of the wicket. He and Afif Hossain added 46 runs in the fifth wicket stand.
After Liton fell to Fazalhaq Farooqi for 60, Afif was dismissed for 25 off 24 balls.
Bangladesh eventually ended up on 155 for eight in 20 overs.
For Afghanistan, Farooqi and Azmatullah Omarzai scalped two wickets each.
The second and final match of the series will take place at the same venue on March 5. If the Tigers can win both of these matches, they will have a good chance to see themselves at a better place in the T20 team ranking.