Rashid Khan's strikes leave Afghanistan just four wickets away from famous win over Bangladesh

Waseem Ahmed 16:19 08/09/2019
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Afghanistan are on the brink.

Afghanistan were left standing on the verge of a famous Test win over Bangladesh after a rain-affected Day Four in the one-off clash between the two sides at Chattogram.

The hosts were left reeling at 136-6 in a daunting chase of 398 before another spell of rain brought an early end to proceedings on Sunday. It was skipper Rashid Khan who was once again the star with the ball for the visitors with the leg-spinner picking up three of the six Bangladesh wickets to fall.

Earlier in the morning, an unbeaten 48 from wicketkeeper Afsar Zazai has seen Afghanistan extend their second-innings total to 260 before they were bowled out for an overall lead of 397.

Bangladesh openers Liton Das and Shadman Islam started well in their final innings chase of 398 before Afghan spinner Zakir Khan struck twice in quick succession immediately after the lunch interval.

The left-armed wrist-spinner trapped Liton Das lbw before having Mosaddek Hossain caught at long-off to reduce Bangladesh to 52-2. Bangladesh stalwart Mushfiqur Rahim got off to a good start with the bat but the wicketkeeper batsman’s innings was cut short on 23 by the brilliant Rashid.

The Afghan leg-spin sensation caught Mominul Haque plumb in front of the wicket soon after to tighten the screws on the hosts. At the other end, veteran Afghan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi ended opener Shadman Islam’s gritty 114-ball vigil to put the visitors firmly on top before Rashid grabbed a third wicket late in the day.

The Afghanistan skipper deceived Mahmudullah with a googly to reduce Bangladesh to 125-6 and he came mighty close to ending Shakib Al Hasan’s stay at the crease as well. Unfortunately for Rashid, he could not hold on to a sharp return catch off his own bowling to complete the Bangladesh captain’s dismissal.

Shakib remained unbeaten on 39 for Bangladesh when stumps were drawn at Chattogram and the Bangladesh skipper now holds the key for his side on the final day. While the Afghans are just four wickets away from wrapping up a historic win, they will be wary of the weather with further rain interruptions forecast for the final day of the one-off Test.

The ongoing Test has seen Rahmat Shah become the first-ever Afghan centurion in the format after the left-hander made 102 in the first-innings. Rashid, meanwhile, has led Afghanistan’s charge with the ball with the leg-spinner picking up a five-wicket haul in the first innings while also registering a vital half-century with the bat.

Should the Afghans be able to complete the job on Monday, it will be their second-ever win in the Test format in three appearances. They were handed a crushing defeat by India in their maiden Test last year before they beat Ireland at Dehradun earlier this year.


Afghanistan: 342 and 260

Bangladesh: 205 and 136-6

Shadman Islam: 41

Rashid Khan: 3-46

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