Afghanistan stun Tigers to level series

Azad Majumder
Mosaddek Hossain

Bangladesh batsman Mosaddek Hossain plays a shot during their second one-day international match against Afghanistan at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Wednesday. — Sanaul Haque

Bangladesh paid the price of poor batting to suffer a shock two-wicket loss to Afghanistan in the second one-day international on Wednesday, which kept them waiting for final match on October 1 to wrap-up the series.
The Tigers made a lucky escape in the opening match on Sunday when they came from behind to eke out a seven-run win, but they did not have the similar luck this time after yet another poor display, especially with bat.
Batsmen lacked approach and application that saw them getting dismissed for a paltry 208 runs, which was beyond the capacity of bowlers to defend despite the best effort of Sakib al Hasan and debutant Mosaddek Hossain.
Some poor catching and wicketkeeping only aggravated their problem as Afghanistan reached 212-8 in 49.4 overs to complete their second win against Bangladesh in four meeting, which also kept them alive in the series.
Sakib claimed 4-47 to take his tally to 100 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium but Nabi outperformed him as an all-rounder taking 2-16 and then scoring an invaluable 49 runs to help Afghanistan win the match.
Chasing a modest target, Nabi shared 107 runs with skipper Asghar Stanikzai, who atoned for some of his casual batting in the opening match to hit 57 off 95 balls, providing the cornerstone in Afghanistan innings.
Bangladesh thought they had a chance when Sakib’s three early wickets and Mosaddek’s first wicket off his career’s first ball helped them reduce Afghanistan to 63-4.
But Nabi and Stanikzai stood firm to build a solid partnership, something which Afghanistan made a habit against Bangladesh that brought rich dividends this time around.
By the time Mashrafe trapped Nabi to end their partnership Afghanistan were only 39 runs away from a win with nearly 11 overs in hand.
Mosaddek gave a renewed hope to home crowd by removing Stanikzai soon but Afghanistan’s lower order batsmen were not prepared to suffer heartbreak once again after coming so close.
The Tigers have only themselves to blame as they made cautious start and reached 111-2 at one stage only to lose their inexplicably.
Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar fetched 45 runs in their opening stand only to fall in Mirwais Ashraf’s successive overs after making an identical score of 20.
Mohmudullah, promoted in one-down position, looked have revived the innings until he dragged one off Naveen-ul-Haq to depart for 25. Mushfiqur Rahim fell for 38 attempting his favourite slog-sweep off the bowling of part-time spinner.
Once Nabi trapped Sakib plumb in front for 17 it put them in danger of getting dismissed for an embarrassing total with nine wickets falling for 165 runs. Mosaddek gave the score some respectability with his unbeaten 45, but that could take Bangladesh narrowly over 200-run mark only.
Rubel Hossain did a commendable job with the bat putting 43 runs with Mosaddek in the last wicket stand before he ran himself out in the final over. But when Rubel failed it mattered most as he conceded 24 runs in his three overs in a low scoring match that gave another indication of Bangladesh’s hapless situation throughout the game.

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