Afghanistan punish sloppy Bangladesh to level series

3. Afghanistan
Afghanistan's Usman Ghani watches the ball after playing a shot during the second Twenty20 international cricket match between Bangladesh and Afghanistan at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on March 5, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
DHAKA — Hazratullah Zazai struck an unbeaten half-century to help Afghanistan thrash Bangladesh by eight wickets in the second Twenty20 international with the two-match series ending all square at 1–1 in Dhaka on Saturday.اضافة اعلان

Zazai hit 59 off 45 balls and Usman Ghani scored 47, guiding Afghanistan to 121–2 in 17.4 overs after Fazalhaq Farooqi and Azmatullah Omarzai claimed three wickets each to restrict Bangladesh to 115–9.

A minute’s silence was observed in memory of late Australian greats Shane Warne and Rodney Marsh before the start of the match.

Both Zazai and Ghani benefited from Bangladesh’s sloppy fielding as the hosts failed to back up Thursday’s convincing 61 run victory.

Nasum Ahmed dropped Zazai on nought off the third ball of the innings before Afif Hossain and Mohammad Naim reprieved Ghani at 39 and 41 off the bowling of Mahedi Hasan.

Mahedi struck early to remove Rahmanullah Gurbaz for three but Zazai and Ghani took full advantage of Bangladesh’s weak fielding to add 99 runs for the second wicket.

Mahmudullah Riyad dismissed Ghani to break the stand, with Afghanistan only 13 runs away from victory.

It was left to Darwish Rasooli to end the game with a towering six off left-arm spinner Nasum.

Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi hailed the team for their bowling efforts.

“The boys played really well, especially in the first innings. Hazratullah and Ghani batted well for us,” he said.

The hosts earlier never managed to get going after electing to bat first, losing wickets at regular intervals.

“It was a good wicket to bat on. We didn’t put together enough partnerships. (I am) very disappointed the way this game turned up,” said Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah.

“We need to improve our fielding. That’s something we need to work on,” he added.

Mushfiqur Rahim top-scored with 30 off 25 balls, in his 100th Twenty20 international, while Mahmudullah chipped in with 21 off 13 balls.

On 19, Mahmudullah became the first Bangladeshi to score 2000 runs in Twenty20 internationals before he was trapped plumb in front by leg-spinner Rashid Khan.

Farooqi finished with 3–19 while Omarzai claimed 3–22.

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