Asia Cup: Afghanistan qualify for Super 4 defeating Bangladesh
Sharjah/UNI: After trampling Sri Lanka and then thrashing Bangladesh by seven wickets, Afghanistan became the first team to qualify for 2022 Asia Cup Super 4 contest here Tuesday.
Najibullah Zadran delivered the barrage of sixes just when it mattered in his extravagant unbeaten 43 off just 17 balls, in which there were 6 towering sixes and a boundary.
Ibrahim Zadran played the anchor's role, making an unconquered 42 off 41, which was decorated by four boundaries.
Bangladesh deserves some credit as they made a game out of the paltry 127/7 total they posted.
They bowled decently well as they rankled the nerves of Afghanistan at the half-way stage.
Hazaratullah Zazai (23 off 26, 3x4s), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (11 off 18) and captain Mohammad Nabi (8 off 9) had a tough time facing them.
Apart from batting, Afghanistan also dominated Bangladesh innings, with spin duo Mujeebur-Rahman and Rashid Khan, coming to the party in the powerplay and middle-overs respectively.
Both utilised the grip and turn the deck was providing to them, which made Bangladesh batsmen struggle to push for some quick runs.
Things could have been embarrassing for Bangladesh, as at one stage it appeared that they would fold for under 100 runs, but Mosaddek Hossain S 31-ball 48 and Mehidy Hasan's 12-ball 14 brought their innings on track.
Earlier, Bangladesh lost four quick wickets after putting up just 28 runs on board. Mujeeb scalped the first three wickets of Mohammad Naim (6), Anamul Haaque (5) and Shakib Al Hasan (11). The fourth wicket was taken by Rashid by sending Mushfiqur Rahim for 1.
Afif Hossain (12) was trapped LBW by Rashid, giving him his second wicket.
Mahmudulla became his third victim after he scored 25 off 27 balls. Mehdi Hasan (14) was unfortunately run out of Gurbaz/Azmatullah combination.
All said and done, Group B in the Asia Cup has a simple equation now.
The winner of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will go through to the Super 4 round.
Brief scores: Bangladesh 127/7 in 20 overs (Mosaddek Hossain 48*; Mujeeb ur Rahman 3/16, Rashid Khan 3/22) lost to Afghanistan 131/3 in 18.3 overs (Najibullah Zadran 43*, Ibrahim Zadran 42*; Mosaddek Hossain 1/12) by 7 wickets