Tigers edge closer to shambolic defeat to Afghans
CHATTOGRAM, – Bangladesh is on the brink of a shambolic defeat to a rejuvenated Afghanistan side after being reduced to 136-6 in chase of an improbable 398-run target on the rain-marred day four of one-off Test at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on Sunday.
With four wickets at hands, the Tigers still needs 262 runs or survive three more sessions to avoid any kind of defeat to the test cricket’s newest
Afghan skipper Rashid Khan led the way with 3-46, triggering a collapse to Bangladesh batting order on day four, which came to an end after rain halted the game for the fifth time. Skipper Shakib Al Hasan was batting on 39 with Soumya Sarkar, who is yet to score.
Rashid who took 5-55 in the first innings, tormented Bangladesh batsmen with trademark googly and generating pace that took his wicket tally to eight in the match.
Two more wickets in the match will make him only third captain after Pakistan’s Imran Khan and Australia’s Alan Border to have taken 10 wickets
and scored a 50 on captaincy debut. After a delayed start to the fourth day by rain, Afghanistan, starting on 237-8, was bowled out for 260 in its second innings, extending the lead to 397.
Bangladesh’s highest runs in successful chase in the fourth innings is 217, when they were set 215-run target by West Indies at St Georges in 2009.
The hosts made some changes to the batting order with Liton Das coming to open with Shadman Islam. They made a steady start in the chase of 398 runs but a wicket looked always on the cards, considering the way of Afghan spinner were hitting the right line and length consistently.
Debutant left-arm Chinaman Zahir Khan, finishing with 2-36, began the rot after Liton and Shadman showed a good intention to weather the spin attack. But Liton (9) was beaten by Zahir Khan’s extra pace, much to the frustration of the sparse crowd in the stadium.
Mosaddek Hossain who promoted to No.3, replacing Mominul Haque, played an expensive cut shot against a turning delivery of Zahir for 12.
Rashid Khan then took the prized scalp of Mushfiqur Rahim for 25, baffling him with a googly. The 20-year old Afghan captain later spun sharply one past Mominul Haque to dismiss him for 3, leaving Bangladesh 82-4. Amid the wickets tumbling around him, opener Shadman Islam showed a temperament and composure, required to thrive in test cricket.
But Mohammad Nabi, who is playing his last Test, had him lbw, bringing an end to his 41 off 114, including four fours. Skipper Shakib Al Hasan was fluent in his approach and punished the bad balls in disdain. He was also the one to deal with Rashid’s deadly googly with much success but that was not the case for his partner Mahmudullah.
Rashid tested him traditional leg-breaks before unleashing a googly to get the better of him for 7. And when it appeared that Afghans would wrap up the famous victory with a day to go, the rain again came to bring an end to the eventful day and delayed the inevitable.