A terrific captain’s performance from Rashid Khan and a combination of Asghar Afghan’s experience and brilliant performances from Ibrahim Zadran, Afsar Zazai ,Zahir Khan and Rahmat Shah ensured Afghanistan overcame rain delays to clinch a historic Test victory against hosts Bangladesh at Chattogram.
Rashid Khan won the toss in his first Test as Captain and opted to bat first. Afghanistan scored 342 in their first innings. The innings witnessed great performances from the batsmen as Rahmat Shah became the first Afghan Test Centurion while Asghar Afghan, Rashid Khan and Afsar Zazai also contributed with great knocks of 92, 51and 41 runs respectively. This was also Khan’s maiden half-century in Tests. Bangladesh’s Taijul Islam took 4 wickets while Shakib al Hasan and Nayeem Hasan took two wickets each.
Rashid Khan continued to perform well as Bangladesh were all out for 205 courtesy of a great bowling performance from Khan who took a five-wicket haul and Mohammad Nabi who took three wickets.
Afghanistan lost quick wickets initially in the second innings as opening batsman Ihsanullah Janat, followed by Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi were back to the pavilion. However, outstanding knocks from Ibrahim Zadran, Asghar Afghan and Afsar zazai who scored 87, 50 and 48 runs respectively meant Afghanistan ended the second innings with a strong lead of 397 runs against the hosts setting them a tough task of chasing 398 runs to win the match. Shakib al Hasan took three wickets while Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam and Nayem Hasan took two wickets each for the hosts.
Having been set a tough chase ahead, Bangladesh ended day four struggling at 136/6 as Afghanistan were closed in on victory. However, regular rain delays provided a realistic chance of a probable draw with Afghanistan needing only four wickets and Bangladesh to defend their way to a draw.
It all came down to a crucial final session as Afghanistan needed to take the final four wickets in just 17 overs to win the match while Bangladesh had to defend the same to draw.
Just after the rain delay, Zahir Khan picked up the important wicket of Shakib al Hasan to keep Afghanistano on track to achieve a famous victory which was finally achieved as skipper Rashid Khan fittingly ended the match taking the final three wickets of Soumya Sarkar, Taijul Islam and Nayeem Hasan.
This was Afghanistan’s second victory in Test Cricket in only their third appearance in the longest format of the game meaning they are the joint quickest team to do so, equalling Australia who picked up their second Test victory all the way back in 1879.