Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com
Liton Das and Afif Hossain made a flying start to propel Bangladesh to clinch the two-match Twenty20 International series against Afghanistan, as they registered a six-wicket win in D/L method in the rain-hit second match of the series at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
This is the third consecutive T20I series victory for the Tigers, as previously they clinched the T20I series against the world champions England and Ireland.
The match turned to a 17-over-a-side match after the game was interrupted by rain.
Liton and Afif shared a crucial 67-run opening stand off 55 balls before they were dismissed for 35 off 36 balls and a 20-ball 24, respectively.
However, the Tigers reached the 119-run target in the final over of their innings, as Shamim Hossain hit a boundary to take the side to 119-4 with five balls to spare in reply to Afghanistan’s 116-7.
Apart from Shamim’s unbeaten run-a-ball seven, skipper Shakib Al Hasan remained unbeaten on 18 off 11 balls to see through the end of the run chase.
The Tigers gained momentum early in their innings after Liton smashed back-to-back boundaries in the opening over of Fazalhaq Farooqi.
The right-hander kept things going by hitting the debutant Wafadar Momand for three fours in the next over.
Afif, who was playing the anchoring role from the other end, joined the party by hitting Mujeeb Ur Rahman for a maximum to help the side reach the 50-mark within the five-over power play.
However, Mujeeb dismissed them both in the tenth over to reduce Bangladesh to 68-2, which slowed down the chase, as pressure kept mounting.
The situation got more difficult for the Tigers, when Najmul Hossain Shanto got dismissed after scoring only four off Azmatullah Omarzai, reducing the side to 76-3.
However, Towhid Hridoy and Shakib formed a 31-run stand to make things easier for the host and take them closer to the win, before the former was dismissed by Omarzai after hitting a 17-ball 19.
The rest was done by Shakib and Shamim, who led the home side to the shore.
Earlier, Bangladesh restricted the Afghans to a paltry total, as Taskin scalped 3-33 in his four overs.
After conceding nine runs in the first four deliveries of his spell, Taskin came back strongly by removing Rahmanullah Gurbaz for 8 in the next ball.
The right-hand pacer then struck in the third over to stop the dangerous Hazratullah Zazai for four before the match was interrupted for an hour and a half due to rain.
Following the pause, the Afghans kept losing wickets at regular intervals, as they got reduced to 67-5 in 11 overs.
After that, Omarzai and Zanat tried to control the damage and accelerate their run rate, forming a 42-run stand for the sixth wicket off 29 balls before Mustafizur Rahman removed the latter after he played his innings off 21 balls, hitting two fours and one six.
Then Taskin once again struck to dismiss Zanat and limit the tourists to a humble total.
Mustafiz and Shakib both scalped two wickets each.
Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan stood at an unbeaten 6 off 3 balls as he smashed a six in the final over of the innings bowled by Taskin.