Shakib Al Hasan headlines Bangladesh's win over Afghanistan with memorable records up his sleeves
In the penultimate tie of the Bangladesh tri-nation series, Bangladesh locked horns with Rashid Khan-led Afghanistan in Chattogram on Saturday. It was Shakib Al Hasan's all-round blitz that took his side to an easy six-wicket win over the subcontinental side to gain psychological edge ahead of the series decider, to be played between both sides on Tuesday (September 24).
Opting to bowl first, Shakib-led Bangladesh invited Afghanistan to bat first. The decision seemed to have backfired when the Afghan openers played aggressively and stitched an impressive 75-run stand inside the first ten overs. Nonetheless, from 75 for no loss, the Afghan Tigers were reduced to 114 for seven. Hence, they managed a modest 138 for seven as Shakib, Saiful Islam, Mohammad Saifuddin and Afif Hossain's combined bowling efforts curtailed the run-flow.
In reply, Bangladesh had an ordinary start and slipped from 75 for two to 96 for five. However, Shakib led the charge with the willow and remained unbeaten on 70 to take his side past the finish line. It was his evening entirely where the 32-year-old contributed in all departments.
Courtesy his prolific show, Shakib attained two significant feats in his illustrious T20 career. The all-rounder not only surpassed Tamim Iqbal's run-tally to become the highest run-scorer for the country in the format but also scalped 350 wickets in T20s (with 92 victims in T20Is).
By virtue of a six-wicket win, this also became Bangladesh's first win over Afghanistan in the format in five years. Thus, Shakib's glorious form in the shorter format continued since his dream run in the 2019 World Cup. In the showpiece event, the senior pro had amassed 606 runs and accounted for 11 wickets to end as his side's top-performer in both the departments.
The tri-series finale will be played between both sides on Tuesday (September 24) at Sher-e Bangla Stadium, Dhaka.