Bangladesh concedes defeat to Afghanistan

M.M. Kaisar, Sports Editor,
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Afghanistan continued their winning streak in T20Is as they won their 12th game in a row in the format – a record - beating hapless Bangladesh by 25 runs in the Tri-Nation T20 Series at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur, on the back of superb batting by Mohammad Nabi and mesmerizing bowling by Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
With this win, Afghanistan secured the top spot in the table at the end of the first round robin league, with every one having played each other once, by winning both of their matches. It would be hard to bet against them not ending the tournament on top at this stage, given the quality cricket they are playing.   

Nabi scored an unbeaten 85 off 54 to propel Afghanistan to 164 for six in their 20 overs, despite losing a wicket off the first ball of their innings and slipping to 4/40 at one stage, after Rashid Khan won the toss for the Afghans and chose to bat first. In reply, Bangladesh fell down for 139 all-out in 19.5 overs as Mujeeb, the teenage leg spinner, outplayed the Tigers in his 4-over spell, finishing with the magnificent figures of 4/15. 

Bangladesh began their chase with Liton Das bewilderingly partnered by Mushfiqur Rahim to open the innings. But Liton fell for just two in the first over bowled by Mujeeb Ur Rahman. Bangladesh lost three more wickets in the Power play, and handed the initiative to Afghanistan, who never let it go from there on.  

Mushfiqur failed to make an impact as he fell for five off three. After suffering a golden duck in the first game, Mushfiqur fell cheaply again, meaning the most reliable batsman of Bangladesh is going through a really bad patch now. 

Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah Riyad added 20 runs in the third wicket stand but they failed to continue on a positive manner as Shakib fell for 15, looking spooked by Mujeeb as he struggled to get him away before lofting an easy catch taken by his opposite number at mid-on. Right after that, Soumya Sarkar suffered a golden duck, and Bangladesh was now reeling at 4/32.

Bangladesh’s biggest partnership came in the fifth wicket stand when Mahmudullah and Sabbir Rahman added 58 runs but that was not enough to avoid a defeat. 

Sabbir fell for 24 and Afif Hossain, who hit a fifty in the last game, scored 16 this time. Eventually, the Tigers tumbled for 139 all-out in 19.5 overs and lost the game after Mustafizur Rahman hit three boundaries in the last over. 

For Afghanistan, Mujeeb bagged four for 15 while Nabi and Rashid Khan bagged two wickets each. Mujib Ur Rahman was adjudged was the man of the match for his 4/15 that destroyed the Bangladesh batting line up.

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