1st T20I: Liton, Nasum help Bangladesh thrash Afghanistan by 61 runs, take 1-0 series lead

Liton Das (60) and Nasum Ahmed’s (4/10) brilliant performance helped Bangladesh thrash Afghanistan by 61 runs in the 1st T20I and take 1-0 lead in the two match series, here on Thursday.

Having opted to bat first, Bangladesh were pegged back by early wickets inside the Powerplay. Fazalhaq Farooqi trapped opener Mohammad Naim in front of the stumps with a brilliant inswinging yorker. Initially given not out, DRS came to Afghanistan’s rescue as the tracker showed three reds to bring an end to Naim’s short stay.

Munim Shahriar then tried to counter-attack, smashing consecutive fours off Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s bowling, but the introduction of Rashid Khan became his undoing, as he too was adjudged leg before wicket.

Shakib Al Hasan’s stay at the crease didn’t last long either, but Liton Das at the other end kept the scoreboard ticking for Bangladesh. He stitched a crucial 33-run stand with skipper Mahmud Ullah in just 19 balls to give some much-needed impetus to the innings.

His sublime touch with the bat continued, as he posted his third 50 plus score of the tour so far. Afif Hossain and Das added 46 runs for the fifth wicket to help Bangladesh build towards posting a respectable total. Das eventually fell to Farooqi for 60, after which Afghanistan fought back to restrict Bangladesh to 155/8.

During Afghanistan’s run chase, Nasum Ahmed ran riot with the ball early on, scalping four wickets in his three overs. Rahmanullah Gurbaz made room to cut over the field on the offside but the miscued slash went into the hands of Yasir Ali at cover-point. In his next over, Ahmed removed the dangerous Hazratullah Zazai and Darwish Rasooli before scalping Karim Janat in his third over, finishing the powerplay with dream figures of 4/7, an ICC report said.

Najibullah Zadran and Mohammad Nabi were cautious in their approach and bailed Afghanistan out of trouble. However, with the run-rate climbing over 10 runs an over at the halfway point, the 37-run partnership eventually came to an end when Nabi holed in the deep trying to up the ante.

Zadran too would follow suit, going for a hit but only finding a leading-edge as Shakib struck again to bring an end to his knock of 27. Azmatullah Omarzai tried his best (20 off 18) but perished Mustafizur and Rashid Khan also contributed 1 run to the cause as the match was slipping away from the visitors.

They would eventually fall short by 61 runs, being bowled out on 94 in only 17.4 overs as the hosts went 1-0 up in the series.

Brief scores: Bangladesh 155/8 in 20 overs (Liton Das 60; Fazalhaq Farooqi 2-27) beat Afghanistan 94 in 17.4 overs (Nasum Ahmed 4-10, Shoriful Islam 3-29) by 61 runs.

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