Ibrahim Zadran and Najibullah Zadran sew up an unbeaten 69 off 33 balls that led Afghanistan to beat Bangladesh by 7 wickets in the Group stage match at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Tuesday. Afghanistan chased down the 128 runs target in 18.3 overs as they secured their place in the Super-4 stage.
Earlier, Afghanistan had a safe win over Sri Lanka by 8 wickets, sparing 59 balls. The Afghan bowlers showed magic in the match and crushed the Lankans easily.
Earlier in the game, Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan opted to bat first. But the decision backfired quickly as they lost early wickets in the powerplay. Mujeeb Ur Rahman has picked 3 wickets in the first five overs as he destroyed the opening line-up of Bangladesh. Mosaddek Hossain and Mohmadullah managed to build a stand and Mosaddek scored 48 runs off 31 balls.
Rashid Khan also picked 3 wickets. The batters didn’t put up enough runs on the board and they ended up with 127 runs.
With a low target to chase down, all Afghanistan needed was a partnership. Ibrahim Zadran and Najibullah Zadran do it perfectly and took the game completely away from the opposition. With their effort, Afghanistan became the first team to qualify for the Super-4 chase.
When Ibrahim Zadran scored 42 runs off 41 balls, Najibullah amazed the fans with 43 runs off 17 balls. In 18.3 overs, the squad completed the game scoring 131 runs.
Even though Afghanistan needed just 128 runs to win the game, it was not going to be easy with the earlier wicket loss. Both the openers got out earlier and the skipper too couldn’t put up a fight. It was Zadran who helped the team to end the game beautifully when it mattered most. He targeted the Bangladesh pacers and hit them to all corners. The 69-run stand between the two Zadrans was enough for the team to win the game.
With the 3-wicket haul (4-0-16-3), Mujeeb Ur Rahman became the player of the match. He has played in Sharjah before and he knew the pitch well. He mentioned that his whole plan was to bowl wicket to wicket and that helped him to get the wickets.
Bangladesh may be disappointed with the performance of the batters as the game ended earlier when the batters failed to add much to the scoreboard. The spinners were almost good at their part but couldn’t pick up enough wickets for the team. The pacers were average in the game and everyone expected more from Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed.
While Afghanistan entered into the next phase of the tournament, Bangladesh now wants to battle it against Sri Lanka in the next game to save a place in the tournament. Whoever wins that match will make it to the Super-4.
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