Afghans edge Tigers on day 1 after Rahmat’s historical ton
CHATTOGRAM,– Bangladesh was left in troublesome situation after Rahmat Shah became the first batsman to hit a century for his nation to guide Afghanistan to a position of dominance on the opening day of the one-off Test on Thursday here at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium
At the close of the day that was extended for 20 minutes after a spell of shower, Afghanistan reached 271-5 with Shah leading the way with chanceless 102 from 187 balls after Afghanistan won the coveted toss.
Asghar Afghan was batting on 88 with Afsar Zazai on 35, sharing a record 74 runs in an unbroken sixth wicket stand that was tough pill to swallow for Bangladesh who got the wicket to their bowling strength.
Asghar Afghan and Rahmat Shah however earlier combined for a national record of 120-run for the fourth wicket to put Afghanistan in strong position after Bangladesh reduced the visitors to 77-3 at lunch.
Afghanistan openers Ihsanullah Janat and Ibrahim Zadran made a watchful start following the captain Rashid Khan’s predictable decision to bat first in supposed to be an ‘extreme’ spinning wicket.
Both sides named their XI with jam-packed with spinners as they fielded four-pronged spin attack with anticipation that spinners would have outright control in the game.
Afghanistan though took one pace in the side while Bangladesh even opted out of this option.
The spinners will be going to rule the Test was evident when Taijul got the turn and bounce right from the beginning.
He flummoxed Ihsanullah (4) with a googly for his 100th wickets in 25 matches, making him the fastest Bangladeshi to achieve this feat.
Taijul then again broke through with the wicket of another opener Zadran (21) before Mahmudullah struck in his first over to remove Hasmatullah Shahidi (14), keeping Bangladesh in control at the first interval of the day, just before the lunch.
Asghar Afghan joined Shah to frustrate Bangladesh in the whole second session, keeping Bangladesh wicket-less and put up runs at good pace in a pitch that offered turn and bounce aplenty.
But their careful approach, combined with Bangladeshi bowlers’ inability to land the ball in the right areas after the first session, kept Afghanistan unscathed.
Rahmat Shah who fell short of two runs to hit century against Ireland in Afghanistan’s previous test, this time didn’t miss the chance to inscribe his name in the history.
He reached the landmark off 186 balls with a late-cut off the back foot wide of backward point for boundary from off-spinner Nayeem Hasan delivery.
His maiden century and third fifty plus knock in just five innings was laced with 10 boundaries and two sixes.
But he was dismissed in the next delivery off Nayeem, offering a simple catch at the slip.
In the same over, Nayeem removed Mohammad Nabi with naught to bring Bangladesh back in contention with Afghanistan at 197-5.
But Asghar Afghan, with the apt support from Afsar Zazai, consolidated Afghan’s domination.
For Bangladesh, Taijul Islam and Nayeem Hasan claimed two wickets apiece.