Rashid Khan picked up 11 wickets in the game as Afghanistan registered their maiden overseas Test win against Bangladesh by 224 runs at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram.
First Rahmat Shah and Asghar Afghan led the way in the first innings. Then Rashid’s five-wicket haul helped them bowl Bangladesh for just 205. After setting a target of 398, Rashid once again showed the way as Afghanistan fought the lower-order resistance and rain to script a win with only 3.2 overs left in the Test.
Mohammad Nabi gets a Guard of honour near the sidelines, not once, but twice. He had announced his retirement just a few days back and his team mates have given him a fitting farewell.
Afghanistan not only had to fight Bangladesh, but they had to fight the rain too. And they have come out on top with flying colours!
Crickbuzz adds: Having set an improbable target of 398, Bangladesh were in tatters after they lost four wickets in the post-lunch session yesterday. Afghanistan were marching towards a victory yesterday but the long rain intervention almost spoilt their party. Almost.
Rahmat Shah and Asghar Afghan laid the foundation with their 120-run stand in the first innings and Rashid gave the finishing touch with a fluent fifty. With the ball too, he was the standout performer and led from front having claimed 11 wickets in the match
Shakib Al Hasan said, “It’s a combination of both – application of our batsmen and the way they bowled. They deserve this win. After playing for 20 years, we can’t say it’s a buildup process. It’s been a while since we played our last Test match, but Afghanistan kept the pressure on us, credit goes to their hard word. We need to forget this match soon and look forward to the t20 series. They are a very good side in that format, so we need to focus on the series, keeping the World T20 in focus.”
Rashid Khan, Man of the Match, said, “We won this game against a side like Bangladesh. We are new to this format, so credit goes to the coaching staff for their support. Everyone applied themselves and stuck to their plans. Credit goes to the batsmen who batted so well in the first innings and the youngsters for the way they bowled.”
“The youngsters are applying their plans and learning from their mistakes. The four-day structure back home is helping the players. We had the best preparation for this game and it was challenging for the batsmen, they applied themselves. The focus now shifts to the T20 series and we’ll try our best to keep enjoying the format. Legend Nabi had his last game, he’s helped us a lot and I thank him for his contribution to Afghanistan. I would like to dedicate this Man of the Match award to him.”
Afghanistan must also not forget to thank the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium’s groundstaff (and drainage system) for their relentless work throughout the fifth day, though. After rain wiped out the first three hours of play, the umpires got the players out at 1pm, only for the rain to return within seven minutes. It came down for another couple of hours before the groundstaff ensured play was possible at 4:20pm despite the dark clouds around.
But it was not just Rashid or the groundstaff that gave them this win. It is an all-round performance from Afghanistan that they churned out over the five days. Rahmat Shah’s historic first Test century, Asghar Afghan’s twin fifties, as well as contributions from debutants Ibrahim Zadran and Zahir Khan ripped the heart out of a home side which failed to turn up all game.