Tigers in cornered state as Afghans lead swells to 374


CHATTOGRAM, Sept 7, 2019 (BSS)- Bangladesh put up yet another lackluster bowling effort to let Afghanistan continue its absolute dominance over them on the day three of the one-off Test at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram today.

Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan was in the center stage yet again by becoming the only fourth captain in the history to score a half-century and claim five-for on captaincy debut.

The youngest Test captain, who scored 51 in Afghanistan’s first innings, took 5-55 to dismiss Bangladesh for 205, earning a 137 runs lead for the side.

Opener Ibrahim Zadran then hit 87, while Asghar Afghan followed his first innings 92 with 50 as Afghanistan scored 237-8, before a power-failure in stadium brought a premature end to the day three, with the lead swelling to an improbable 374.

With two wickets at hands, Afghanistan will definitely be eying to set 400 plus target to Bangladesh, which looked realistic as Afsar Zazai, the man in form was batting on 34. But the lead already was too much for Bangladesh and left them in the knife-edge of a defeat to the Test cricket’s newest nation as the Tigers highest successful chase in fourth innings remains 217, that they achieved against West Indies in 2009.

Bangladesh was bowled out 17 minutes after beginning the day three with 194-8 with Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi (3-56) claiming the last two wickets.

But the hosts appeared to have clawed back when skipper Shakib Al Hasan dealt a double blow, removing opener Ihsanullah Janat and first innings centurion Rahman in consecutive deliveries in the first over.

With precariously placed at 4-2, Afghanistan was in position to concede their first innings advantage.

Off-spinner Nayeem Hasan had Hasmatullah Shahidi caught by Soumya Sarkar at slip for 12 to further peg back the innings with Afghanistan at 28-3.

Ibrahim Zadran and Asghar Afghan showed stubbornness in the face of some good bowling initially.

But Bangladesh bowlers failed to land the ball in right areas consistently and both of them took the full advantage of it to pace the innings.

Left arm spinner Taijul Islam broke through with the wicket of Afghan to put an end to the 128-run partnership in fourth wicket.

Zadran and Afsar Zazai then took the lead past 300 runs before Nayeem removed 17-year old Zadran, who was visibly tired after playing 208 balls and failed to clear the long-on in his attempt to hit his fifth six.

Off-spinner Mehidy Hasan removed Mohammad Nabi, 8, who is going to retire from the test cricket after the match.

But Rashid Khan played a 22 ball-24 to further pace the innings as Afghanistan eyed extending lead as much as it is possible.

Taijul Islam prevented Rashid by doing more carnage, rattling his stump with an arm-ball and Shakib had Qais Ahmed lbw for 14.

Afsar Zazai was batting on 34, with Yamin Ahmadzai who is yet to open his scoring sheet.

Shakib Al Hasan had figures of 3-53 while Taijul and Nayeem took two wickets apiece.