Stanikzai’s crucial innings helps Afghanistan overcome Bangladesh by 2 wickets to level the series 1-1

The second game of the one day series between Afghanistan and Bangladesh was played at Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur. The game turned to be good one for the visitors as they played well to win the second game against hosts by two wickets chasing down a total of 208 runs.

Afghanistan won the toss and elected to field on a pitch that was providing assistance to the spinners. The pace bowlers upfront did create ant chances as openers Soumya Sarkar and Tamim Iqbal put on an opening partnership of 45 runs after ten overs. Afghanistan got their first wicket after medium pacer Mirwais Ashraf took out Tamim in the 11th over and also dismissed Sarkar in his second over to see Bangladesh placed at 50 for 2 after 13 overs.

Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah came to the crease and manage to put on 61 run partnership to stabilize the innings by taking rotating the strike on a regular basis. Afghanistan captain decided to put spin on both the ends as the tactics as the hosts lost the plot after Rahim and Mahmudullah were dismissed in the middle overs. The spinners Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi provided the ultimate choke hold to see the home side lose six wickets for 18 runs.Mossadek Hossain making his debut in this game showed a lot of determination with the bat. He scored unbeaten 45 runs off 45 balls to take Bangladesh past 200 runs from their full quota of overs. Mohammad Nabi bowled superbly in the innings as he conceded just 16 runs from his ten overs while Rashid Khan picked 3 wickets in the game.

Afghanistan in the chase got off to bad start as left arm spinner Shakib-ul-Hasan got early wickets of Navroz Mangal and Rahmat Shah to see the visitors 2 down for a score of 14 runs after 4 overs. Mohammad Shahzad played well for his brisk run-a-ball 35 runs. The debutant Mossadek Hossain came into the attack and struck to dismiss Hashmatullah Shahidi.Shakib got his third wicket as he dismissed the danger man Shahzad to see Afghanistan reeling at 63 for 4 after 15 overs. It looked at the moment the visitors would wilt under pressure and lose the game. But the captain Asghar Stanikzai and Mohammad Nabi came to crease under a lot of pressure. The duo added 100 runs together and stabilized the Afghanistan innings to put them in a commanding position in the game.

Stanikzai scored 57 runs off 95 balls while Nabi was fluent at the other end with 49 runs off 61 balls. Bangladesh once again got back into the game when Mashrafe Mortaza trapped Nabi in front of stumps to break a big partnership. Stanikzai also fell in the next over as he went for big shot only to be taken by Sabbir Rahman to give Mossadek his second wicket of the game. The game was in balance but Najibullah Zadran played a vital cameo of 22 runs to help his side win the game by 2 wickets in the last over.

Afghanistan will take a lot of heart from this performance and will go into the final with determination to win the series in Bangladesh as the decider will be played on 1st October.


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