Birthday boy Rashid Khan stars with bat and ball as giant killers Afghanistan crush Bangladesh by 136 runs

Abu Dhabi, Sep 20: Conituing ther stunning performance, minnows Afghanistan have turned into giant killers. After beating Sri Lanka in their opener, Afghanistan crushed Bangladesh by 136 runs. Set a target of 256, Bangladesh were bolwed out for 119 in 42.1 overs. Birthday boy Rashid Khan was Man of the Match. Following his half century, Rashid took 2 for 13 in 9 overs to guide Afghanistan to an emphatic win.

Earlier, birthday boy Rashid Khan smashed a superb unbeaten half century and shared 95 runs with Gulbadin Naib for the unconquered eighth wicket as Afghanistan made a stunning fightback to post a competitive 255 for 7 in their Asia Cup here on Thursday.

Opting to bat, Afghanistan were initially struggling against a disciplined Bangladesh bowling attack led by veteran left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan, who grabbed four wickets for 42 runs, but Rashid (57 not out) and Gulbadin (42 not out) turned the tables in the final 10 overs.


The duo added 97 runs in the final 10 overs with a flurry of boundaries which undid all the earlier good work by the Bangladeshi bowlers. They came together in the 41st over at 160 for 7 and remained unconquered till the end.

Rashid, one of the premier leg-spinners in the world, played the role of the batting anchor for his side Thursday as he hit eight fours and one six in his 32-ball unbeaten innings. Gulbadin faced 38 balls and hit five fours.

Rashid, who turns 20 today, hit four boundaries in the final over bowled by Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza to end the innings in style with a four.

Earlier in the innings, Hashmatullah Shahidi kept the Afghans in the hunt with a fighting 92-ball 58 after his side were reduced to 28 for 2 in the sixth over itself.

Wickets fell around Shahidi with only opener Mohammad Shahzad (37), with whom he stitched 51 runs for the third wicket, making some contribution.

Debutant pacer Abu Hider (2/50) opened the bowling for Bangladesh and he got his first ODI wicket in his fourth delivery. Afghanistan opener Ihsanullah (8) hit two consecutive fours before a big one from him landed into the hands of Mohammad Mithun at cover region.

Abu Hider had his second wicket in the sixth over as Rahmat Shah (10) was completely beaten by a beautiful delivery which knocked off the stumps.

Shahidi came out at this juncture when Afghanistan were two down for 28 and he and with Shahzad steadied the innings before Shakib broke the stand which was threatening to settled down for a big partnership.

Shahzad was holed out at long on with Abu Hider taking a spectacular catch to give his senior team-mate the first wicket of the match and the much-needed breakthrough.

Afghanistan crossed the 100 mark exactly at the halfway stage but Shakib was only getting better as he bowled out Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan (8) who was beaten by the flight of the delivery and drove the wrong line to see his stumps uprooted.

Shakib then added another wicket to his kitty in the 34th over by having Samiullah Shenwari (18) to reduce Afghanistan to 239 for 5.

Shahidi was holding one end together all these while but he was also out in the 38th over as he edged a Rubel Hossain delivery to the wicketkeeper for a soft dismissal.

At 160 for 7 in the 41st over, it seemed that Afghanistan would struggle to even reach 200 but Rashid and Gulbadin had other ideas

News24 Bureau/PTI.