Amazing Afghanistan deliver knock out punch to toothless Tigers

Saleque Sufi

Afghanistan make sudden new call ahead of first T20I

Afghanistan Vs Bangladesh T20 International played at Dehradun, India
Brief Score Card: Afghanistan 167/8 ( Shahzad 40, Shenwari 30 ,Usman C Ghani 26 , Ashgar Stanikzai 25, Sharifullah 24 , Mahmudullah 2/1, Abul Hasan 2/40) beat Bangladesh 122 All Out ( Litton 30, Mahmudullah 29, Mushfiqur 20, Rashid Khan 3/13, Shapoor Zadran 3/40, Nabi 2/ 21) by 45 runs.

Also Read - Mahmudullah denies showing any disrespect to 'national anthem'

Man of the Match: Rashid Khan

A complete clinical team performance of emerging Afghanistan launched its historic India visit with an emphatic 45 runs victory over clueless Bangladesh in the first of the three T20 internationals. It was the first ever international played in Indian hill station Dehradun.

Much to the delight of aspiring Afghan adoring fans they started with a bang. Put into bat by Bangladesh skipper on a slow sluggish track, Afghans survived a middle order jolt blasting 64 runs in the last four overs.

Even then 167/8 against a seemingly strong experienced Bangladesh batting was not considered a winning target. But Rashid Khan, Nabi and Zadran squeezed Bangladesh to an abject surrender of failing 45 runs short of the target. A very impressive win for Afghanistan. A good beginning is made.

Afghanistan ranked higher than Bangladesh even as an associated member country in T20 international, after gaining full membership status, Afghans has a firm believe that Bangladesh are among the full member country whom they can challenge in all formats of the game.

Even before the series got off, Bangladesh Captain tagged Afghanistan as the favorite. True Afghans have some truly world class players but as a team Bangladesh has more experienced performers and should have performed much better in business as usual mode.

Looking back in retrospect analysts would point towards an in appropriate playing eleven, decision of batting first after winning toss on slow sluggish wicket , poor bowling handling and atrocious batting of Tamim, Mushfiqur , Shakib and Sabbir for the dismal performance .

Observers believed that on such a wicket Bangladesh could do better batting first setting a target for Afghans and pressurize on their not too experienced batting line up. But Shakib thought otherwise. In absence of injured Mustafiz and retired Mashrafe Bangladesh has a pretty ordinary new ball attack.

With Mehedi Miraz not picked even the spin resources was very thin. Afghans started well against friendly fire of Bangladesh new ball attack of Rookie Abu Jayed and Nazmul. 62 runs were scored of the first 8.3 overs before Rubel could deliver the break through.

However Shakib bowling tight and Mahmudullah in all alone over making double strike could peg back Afghans for a while for 91/4 in the 14 the over. But surprisingly Shakib did not continue with his spinning options.

Mahmudullah got 2/1 in one over and Mosaddek bowled a tight over giving away three runs. Shakib instead relied on his less penetrative inexperienced Abu Jayed and Abul Hasan 64 runs were leaked in the last 4 overs which took Afghans to a competitive score of 167/8.

Afghan blasters Shahzad (40), Shenwari (36) and Sharifullah (24 in 8 balls) did admirably well to take the score to a competitive level. Abul Hasan gave away 40 runs in his 3 overs, Jayed and Rubel both gave away 32.

The most successful Bangladesh bowler Mahmudullah bowled only one over taking 2 wickets for 1 run.
When Bangladesh batted it looked like a SUICIDE SQUAD. Tamim batted like a novice getting plumb in front to the very first delivery.

Shakib did not bat at number three in any of the IPL matches. His batting through out IPL season was very ordinary. Still he batted ahead of Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah. But did very little. Litton was going steady.

Afghans read the wicket much better and their quality spin attack of Nabi, Mujeeb and Rashid Khan started delivering. Nabi accounted for Shakib and Litton Das. Then admirable Rashid Khan took over. Mushfiqur, for reason best known to him tried playing a reverse sweep on the very first ball of to top ranked bowler in T20 international sacrificing his wicket.

Sabbir failed to read his googly. Rashid was on a hat trick in his very first over. The champion bowler set panic in Bangladesh camp.Bangladesh suddenly became 5/79 in the 11th over. Though Mahmudullah tried a bit to recover but the quality of Afghan attack was such that they could pack the innings for 122 by the 19 the over. Afghan won huge and handsome by 45 runs.

Many people may have many ideas. It is as simple as that the better team deservedly won. Bangladesh would have to do a lot to even save clean sweep of the series. Nothing worked from bowling was poor in death overs, batting was spine less, captaincy lacked vision and encouragement. Very sad commentary of Bangladesh cricket.

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