AFG vs BAN, 2nd T20I, Review: All-round efforts from Mohammad Nabi help Afghanistan win their first series at home

AFG vs BAN, 2nd T20I, Review: All-round efforts from Mohammad Nabi help Afghanistan win their first series at home

Afghanistan bag the series with a game to go.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Afghanistan team had a great start to their maiden series at their new adopted home in India. The Afghans stunned the visitors, Bangladesh in the 1st T20I. They were brilliant in all three aspects of the game to bag the first win ever at the new Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun. They were equally clinical in the second T20I as well.

 

Yet again, the Afghanistan bowlers didn’t leave a chance to trouble the Bangladeshi batsmen. The spinners kept picking wickets to put the visitors under pressure. Chasing a small target of 135, the Afghan batsmen paced the innings beautifully. Mohammad Nabi was brilliant both with the bat and the ball. Efforts from him and Rashid Khan helped Afghanistan win the 3-match T20I series with one more game to go.

Rashid Khan spins his web around the Bangladesh batsmen

Unlike in the first T20I, Bangladesh opted to field first after winning the toss. Their decision didn’t seem to work out as well in this game. The Afghan spinners kept things tight and never allowed the Bangladesh batsmen to break free. However, the pacers turned out to be huge disappointments as they leaked a huge amount of runs. The Afghan spinners always tried to be on the top of the Bangla batsmen and didn’t give them many opportunities to score.

Young sensation Mujeeb Ur Rahman opened the bowling and bowled very economically. The pressure that this man built in the powerplay forced the batsmen to go big and in the process, risk their wickets. Shapoor Zadran struck off his first ball in the match picking Liton Das’ wicket. After losing two quick wickets, Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim tried to steady the ship. However, Mohammad Nabi kept building the pressure bowling economical spells and also picked two crucial wickets.

Mushfiqur lost his wicket at the wrong time and the batsmen coming after him couldn’t really sustain due to the heroics from Rashid Khan. The best leg-spinner in the world at the moment picked 4 wickets in his quota of 4 overs. He only conceded 12 runs in the game. It looked tough for Bangladesh to cross 120 until they managed to score 26 runs off the last two overs courtesy some big hits from Abu Hider to take the total to 134. Although it came at a slow pace, Bangladesh would have struggled even more had it not been that 43 from Tamim which came off 48 balls.

Afghanistan make it tough for themselves in the chase but somehow get there in the end

Chasing 135 in T20s is never a big ask until the opposition bowls exceptionally well. Bangladesh did exactly that to start off with. The first over of the innings was a maiden but the asking rate was never high. After giving away that maiden, Mohammad Shahzad switched gears and scored a quickfire 24 off 18. He was quite lucky in his brief stay in the middle. However, it was after his wicket fell that things started getting tough for Afghanistan. The other opener, Usman Ghani scored at a slow pace and only managed to get 21 before he got out. He faced 31 deliveries.

Skipper Asghar Stanikzai failed to create an impact for the second game in a row as he walked back to the hut after scoring just 4. Samiullah Shenwari who walked in at 3 started his innings on a slow note. However, he changed this quickly and looked to be the main man in the chase. But, Shenwari threw his wicket away at the wrong time in the 18th over of the game after scoring 49 off 41.

However, Mohammad Nabi, who was playing the anchor role at the other end while Shenwari was batting didn’t let the pressure get the better of him. 20 runs were required in the last 2 overs. He brought all his experience in and Rubel Hossain for 20 runs in the first five balls to take Afghanistan home. He hit some blistering shots at the end which would have been a treat to watch for any Afghanistan fan.

Brief Scores

Afghanistan won the match by 6 wickets

Bangladesh: 134/8 in 20 overs (Tamim Iqbal 43, Mushfiqur Rahim 22, Rashid Khan 4/12)

Afghanistan: 135/4 in 18.5 overs (Samiullah Shenwari 49, Mohammad Nabi 31*, Mosaddek Hossain 2/21)