Afghanistan outclass Bangladesh to qualify for Asia Cup 2022 Super 4s

DUBAI: Afghanistan batters Ibrahim Zadran and Najibullah Zadran completed a comfortable chase for their side with unbeaten knocks after spinners dominated Bangladesh batting line-up as Afghanistan sealed an emphatic seven-wicket victory to book a Super 4s spot in the ongoing Asia Cup 2022.

Set to chase 128, Afghanistan comfortably steered to victory in the 19th over with seven wickets to spare, thanks to the astounding knock of Ibrahim and Najibullah.

Afghanistan were off to an unwanted start to their run chase as the side lost their first wicket for a mere 15 runs amid a slow start as Rahmanullah Gurbaz perished cheaply for 11.

Bangladesh bowlers then did well to stop the run flow and mounted the pressure on Afghanistan batters, which paid off the side in the form of Hazratullah Zazai’s wicket in the 10th over, who could only manage to score 23 off 26 deliveries.

The match took a thrilling turn in the 13th over when Mohammad Saifuddin trapped the Afghan captain Mohammad Nabi for a mere eight; forcing Afghanistan to slip to 62/3 while chasing 128.

Ibrahim and Najibullah then denied Bangladesh’s comeback as they batted sensibly and put on a match-winning unbeaten 69-run partnership for the fourth wicket and cruised Afghanistan over the line in the 19th over.

Ibrahim batted sensibly for his 42 off 41, while Najibullah top-scored with a quickfire 43 off a mere 17 deliveries, laced with a boundary and six sixes.

For Bangladesh, their captain Shakib Al Hasan, Mosaddek Hussain, and Mohammad Saifuddin made one scalp each.

Bangladesh, after winning the toss, made a rather surprising decision to elect to bat first against Afghanistan in the third match of the ongoing Asia Cup 2022.

Batting first, last edition’s finalists Bangladesh were off to a dismal start as the Afghanistan spinners dismissed half of their side for 53 in the 11th over.

Former Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah, alongside Mosaddek anchored the inning after a horrific start and added 36 runs for the sixth wicket.

Mosaddek was looking solid amid the stand, while Mahmudullah was struggling to score at a quick pace and in the end, fell victim to Afghanistan star bowler Rashid in the 16th over. He scored a mere 25 off 27 deliveries.

Bangladesh hero Mosaddek then joined hands with tailender Mahedi Hassan and added a further 39 runs to the total before the latter perished in the final over courtesy of a run-out.

Hassan scored a crucial 14 off 12, while Mosaddek top-scored for the side with an unbeaten 48 off 31 deliveries, laced with four boundaries and a six.

For Afghanistan, Rashid and Mujeeb starred as they bagged three wickets each.

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