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Afghans on the ascendancy after day one

  • Published at 10:03 am September 5th, 2019
Afghan
Afghanistan's Asghar Afghan plays a shot during day one of their lone Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong Thursday Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik from Chittagong

The occasion was only the second Bangladesh opted to keep no regular pacers in the attack

Host Bangladesh at stumps on day one in the ongoing lone Test match against Afghanistan must have been left with many questions to answer. 

The home side had the ambition of ruling the roost over the opposition with an all-spin attack on a wicket that was “meant” to suit their strategy at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.

The occasion was only the second Bangladesh opted to keep no regular pacers in the attack.

The decision however, did not pay off as Afghanistan, playing only their third Test, and their first against Bangladesh, finished on top with 271 runs on the board losing five wickets in 96 overs.

Bangladesh, after being asked to bowl first, managed to get early breakthroughs with left-arm spinner Taijul Islam striking twice in the span of around 10 overs. 

Taijul first removed Ihsanullah for nine and then the other opener Ibrahim Zadran for 21. 

At the stroke of lunch, the tourist lost their third, to Mahmudullah, as Hashmatullah Shahidi left the Afghans reeling on 77 for the loss of three wickets.

However, as the two sides returned to the middle following lunch, Rahmat Shah and Asghar Afghan went for damage control. 

In the session, the duo added 114 for the fourth wicket to take Afghanistan to 191 without further loss.

Rahmat played the anchor role as he took on the Bangladesh bowlers showing the full face of the bat. 

At times, when there was bit of spin offered by the deck, the right-handed batsman would stretch forward.

When the duo returned to the middle after tea, Rahmat added three more runs to his innings to emerge as the first Afghan centurion in the format. 

Following the celebration, Rahmat went on to add two more runs to his tally before Nayeem Hasan removed him for 102 and give Bangladesh the much-needed breakthrough. 

Rahmat had come to the game with the grief of missing out on a Test century just in the previous game against Ireland, having scored 98.

Off-spinner Nayeem struck again three balls later, this time dismissing Mohammad Nabi for a duck. 

According to media reports, Nabi is mulling retiring from the longer version in order to concentrate on the shorter formats.

Former Afghan captain Asghar remained unbeaten on 88 with Afsar Khan on 35 at the other side of the crease when the umpires removed the bails to call it a day.

The day end press conference saw Taijul represent Bangladesh. 

Taijul has claimed the dressing room is happy with the proceedings and it is just that “three Tests old” Afghanistan have scored about 20 or so runs more. 

There is however, a common feeling the home side’s “over ambitious” strategy had fallen apart. 

Eyes were on leading spinners in the shape of Shakib al Hasan and Mehedi Hasan Miraz, who were silent in making contribution. 

The duo bowled 39 overs between themselves but remained wicket-less.

ONLY TEST, DAY 1

AFGHANISTAN 1ST INNINGS        R    B

Ibrahim c Mahmudullah b Taijul     21    69

Ihsanullah b Taijul             9    36

Rahmat c Soumya b Nayeem         102    187

Shahidi c Soumya b Mahmudullah    14    32

Asghar not out            88    160

Nabi b Nayeem             0    3

Afsar not out                35    90

Extras (lb 1, nb 1)            2 

Total (96 Overs)            271/5 

Fall Of Wickets

1-19 (Ihsanullah), 2-48 (Ibrahim), 3-77 (Shahidi), 4-197 (Rahmat), 5-197 (Nabi)

Bowling

Taijul 31-4-73-2, Shakib 17-1-50-0, Miraz 22-4-59-0, Nayeem 13-0-43-2, Mahmudullah 4-0-9-1, Soumya 4-0-26-0, Mominul 4-0-9-0, Mosaddek 1-0-1-0