Afghanistan registered a comprehensive victory against Bangladesh in the opening T20I by 45 runs at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Dehradun to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
It was Bangladesh skipper, Shakib Al Hasan who won the toss and opted to bowl. Afghanistan got off to a fluent start, courtesy openers Mohammad Shehzad and Usman Ghani. The pocket-sized dynamo Shehzad wasn’t at his flowing best. His 40 came in 37 deliveries. Ghani on the other end scored 26 off 24 balls. The Bangladesh bowlers weren’t’ able to get wickets on a consistent basis but managed to keep the run rate down.
It was some good bowling by the Tigers. A brilliant delivery from Rubel Hossain castled Ghani while Shakib Al Hasan dismissed Shehzad. Samiullah Shenwari and Shafiquallah Shafiq provided the late impetus.
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Shenwari smashed three fours and three sixes during his whirlwind knock of 36 off 18 deliveries.
The shots he struck was quite exceptional. Shafiq, on the other hand, smacked three sixes and a four during his breezy knock of 24 off eight deliveries.
He also looked in great touch from the outset and took the Bangladesh bowling to the cleaners. Rashid also showed his six hitting skill during his two balls stay.
Mahmudullah was the pick of the Bangladesh bowlers bagging a couple of wickets for just two runs. However, he bowled one over. Afghanistan eventually reached a competitive total of 167 in their allotted 20 overs. Afghanistan got off to the perfect start in the bowling department, as Mujeeb-ur-Rahman castled Tamim Iqbal with a brilliant delivery.
There was a brief partnership of 21 runs between Shakib and Litton Das. Mohammad Nabi dismissed Shakib on his score of 15. Again when Bangladesh was looking good with the partnership of Litton Das and Mushfiqur Rahim flourishing, it was Nabi who castled Litton Das with a flatter trajectory delivery.
Arguably the best bowler in the shortest format, Rashid Khan came into the act with the wicket of Mushfiqur Rahim. It was a brilliant wrong-un which breached his defence. Wickets kept falling at regular intervals from there on, and there was no way back for Bangladesh. It was some exceptional piece of bowling by the Afghan attack.
Rashid Khan yet again turned out to be the most successful bowler bagging three wickets for just 13 runs. Shapoor Zadran also prized out three wickets.
However, he conceded 40 runs in his four overs spell. Bangladesh was eventually skittled out for just 122 in the 19th over, handing Afghanistan a 45-run victory.
Afghanistan 167/8 in 20 overs (Mohammad Shehzad 40, Samiullah Shenwari 36, Shafiquallah Shafiq 24*)
Bangladesh 122 all-out in 19 overs (Litton Das 30, Mahmudullah 29, Rashid Khan 3/13, Shapoor Zadran 3/40)
Afghanistan won by 45 runs