Asia Cup: Afghanistan beat Bangladesh on the strength of Najibullah and Mujeeb, gracefully enter Super-4

S Choudhury
Asia Cup
Asia Cup

Bangladesh team scored 127 for 7 on the basis of unbeaten innings of 48 runs by Mossadiq Hossain. Off-spinners Mujeeb ur Rahman and Rashid Khan took 3 wickets each.

New Delhi. The magic of Mujeeb ur Rahman's spin and then the smoky innings of Najibullah Zadran… Afghanistan defeated Bangladesh on the basis of the stellar performance of these players and made it to the Super-4 of the Asia Cup-2022. In this match played in Sharjah on Tuesday, Bangladesh team could score 127 runs for 7 wickets, after which Afghanistan achieved the target in 18.3 overs losing 3 wickets. Bangladesh has become the first team to make it to the Super-4 stage of this tournament.

For Afghanistan, Najibullah Zadran played a brilliant innings of 43 runs in 17 balls with 6 sixes and 1 four. Apart from them, Ibrahim Zadran scored 42 runs in 41 balls with the help of 4 fours and returned unbeaten. Hazratullah Zazai scored 23 runs off 26 balls hitting 3 fours. Afghanistan got the first blow on the score of 15 when Rahmanullah Gurbaz (11) was stumped by Shakib Al Hasan. Captain Mohammad Nabi was dismissed lbw by Mohammad Saifuddin. Hazratullah was made a victim by Mossadiq Hussain. Najibullah hit the winning six off Mossadiq.

Earlier , Mujeeb ur Rahman took 16 wickets while star spinner Rashid Khan took 3-3 wickets for 22 runs, due to which the Bangladesh team could not make a big score. Mujeeb was adjudged player of the match. Somehow the score was crossed 125 on the basis of Mossadiq Hossain's innings. He scored 48 runs in 31 balls with the help of 4 fours and 1 six and returned unbeaten. It was the best innings of his career. At the same time, Mahmudullah (25) made a useful contribution. Both also shared a 36-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

Earlier, winning the toss and opting to bat, Bangladesh lost both openers Mohammad Naeem (6) and Anamul Haque (5) for 13 runs in the fourth over. 21-year-old off-spinner Mujeeb caught Anamul leg-behind after Nayeem was bowled on the carrom ball. Captain Shakib Al Hasan (11) hit Naveen-ul-Haq for two consecutive fours but Mujeeb also bowled him in the next over. Bangladesh's team could only score 28 runs for 3 wickets in the powerplay.

Star leg-spinner Rashid gave Bangladesh the fourth blow by lbw the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim (01) off his second ball. Afif Hossain (12) and Mahmudullah took over the innings. Both took the team's score to 50 runs for four wickets in 10 overs, but during this innings only four fours were hit. Rashid broke this partnership of 25 runs by taking Afif lbw.

Mossadiq hit Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi for the first six of the innings. However, he was lucky as Ajmatullah Umarzai took his catch and bounced the ball towards Rashid but his foot touched the boundary.

Mahmudullah along with Mossadiq took the team's score beyond 100 runs. Rashid ended this partnership by getting Mahmudullah caught by Ibrahim Zadran. Mossadiq took the team's score beyond 100 runs in the 17th over with a four on Fazal Farooqui. Afghanistan tried 6 bowlers.