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Mushfiqur Rahim’s timely celebrations against Afghanistan

Bangladesh won a last over thriller against Afghanistan to keep their final hopes alive.

Mushfiqur Rahim
Mushfiqur Rahim. (Photo Source: RANDY BROOKS/AFP/Getty Images)

Bangladesh have kept their dreams of a second consecutive Asia Cup final alive after they defeated Afghanistan narrowly on Sunday. The Super 4 match came down to the wire, with Afghanistan needing 8 off the final over. Bangladesh’s premier fast bowler and death overs specialist Mustafizur Rahman was in charge of keeping Afghanistan at bay, and he did exactly that, conceding only 4 runs off his 6 deliveries. The Bangladeshi supporters were absolutely ecstatic in the stands and on the grass banks as their side were still in the tournament.

As for Afghanistan, their Asia Cup is essentially over. Bangladesh and Pakistan will clash against each other in what will be a virtual semi-final. The winner of this game will meet India, who are already sitting pretty in the final after having registered a 9-wicket victory over Pakistan on Sunday.

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Bangladesh were bailed out by a century stand between Mahmudullah and Imrul Kayes. The Tigers were able to post a respectable total of 249. In reply, Afghanistan stumbled early, but Hashmatullah Shahidi pulled things back for them with a knock of 71. He was well supported by opener Mohammad Shahzad as well who brought up a slow but steady fifty.

Mustafizur the final over hero

The target seemed within Afghanistan’s reach even while the required run rate was over 9. They had Mohammad Nabi at the crease, and Rashid Khan was yet to arrive. However, Mustafizur’s skill and discipline in the final over meant Afghanistan would have to wait for another two years to see themselves contesting in a final of an Asia Cup.

Most importantly, Bangladesh wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim, perhaps for the first time, celebrated not before but after the end of the match. Mushfiqur has on several prior occasions celebrated before he’s even won the game for his team, and has thus attracted trolling and jokes. However, the keeper didn’t count his chickens before they hatched this time against Afghanistan.

Bangladesh’s virtual semi-final against Pakistan will take place on Wednesday. The Tigers had also featured in the final of the previous edition of the Asia Cup, which India won comfortably by 8 wickets.

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