ASIA CUP | Afghanistan beat Bangladesh

Sharjah: A fine performance from the spinners and an impactful cameo from Najibullah Zadran helped Afghanistan record a seven-wicket win over Bangladesh in the Asia Cup here on Tuesday.

Afghanistan’s star spinners Mujeeb Ur Rahman (3/16) and Rashid Khan (3/22) ran through a reckless Bangladesh batting line-up to restrict the opposition to 127.

Bangladesh stifled Afghanistan in the run chase before Najibullah’s belligerent 43 not out off 17 balls, comprising six sixes, got his team over the line in 18.3 overs.

Ibrahim Zadran also contributed with 42 off 41 balls as he shared an unbeaten 69-run stand off 36 balls with Najibullah.

With their second win in as many games, Afghanistan also became the first team to qualify for the Super 4s.

Skipper Shakib Al Hasan opened the bowling for Bangladesh and returned with impressive figures of 1 for 13 in four overs. The other bowlers too were accurate with Afghanistan batters not able to put them away.

After the fall of openers Hazratullah Zazai (23) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (11), Afghanistan found themselves needing 80 off the last 10 overs.

With the batters struggling to find the big hits, it seemed the game would go down to the wire. However, a barrage of sixes from Najibullah quickly change the course of the game.

It was only fitting that the left-hander finished the game with a six.

Earlier, Mossadek Hossain (48 not out off 31 balls) was the sole Bangladesh batter who played smartly and saved Bangladesh the blushes.  (PTI)

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