Afghanistan’s grip on the one-off Test against Bangladesh was further strengthened on Day Three at Chattogram with the visitors extending their second-innings lead to a mammoth 374 runs.
A chancy 87 from opener Ibrahim Zadran and the second half-century of the match for Asghar Afghan helped Afghanistan reach 237-8 in their second innings before stumps were drawn at Chattogram.
Earlier, a five-wicket haul for skipper Rashid Khan had seen Bangladesh bundled out for 205 runs in the morning session with Afghanistan seizing a sizeable 137-run first-innings lead. Their position was then further consolidated by Zadran and Afghan who shared a 108-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Afghanistan’s second innings with the bat got off to a horror start with Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan removing both openers in the very first over. Shakib removed Insanullah and first-innings centurion Rahmat Shah off consecutive deliveries to give the hosts an opening and their spirit were further buoyed when Nayeem Hasan sent back Hashmatullah Shahidi.
At 28-3, Afghanistan were in a precarious spot despite their first-innings advantage with Bangladesh’s spinners sniffing blood. However, Zadran and Afghan calmed the nerves for the visitors with a pivotal stand that put all the pressure back on Bangladesh.
18-year-old Zadran was looking good for a maiden ton but he perished on 87 ultimately after holing out to long-on off the bowling of Hasan. The youngster struck four sixes and six boundaries in his 208-ball stay at the crease.
A quick-fire cameo off 22 from skipper Rashid and an unbeaten 34 from wicketkeeper Afsar Zazai saw Afghanistan extend their second-innings tally late in the day before stumps were drawn.
Rashid and his men are now in the driving seat to notch up Afghanistan’s second Test victory in what is their third appearance in the format. They were beaten comprehensively by India in their maiden Test last year at Bengaluru before registering their first win against Ireland at Dehradun earlier this year.
Afghanistan: 342 and 237-8 (Second innings)
Ibrahim Zadran: 87
Asghar Afghan: 50
Shakib Al Hasan: 3-53
Bangladesh: 205 all out (First innings)
Mominul Haque: 52
Rashid Khan: 5-55
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