Bangladesh tasted success against Afghanistan winning the last league game of the tournament by 4 wickets at the Zahur Chaudhary Ahmed Stadium, Chattgroam on Saturday.
Bangladesh captain Shakib AL Hasan won the toss and decided to bowl first. Afghanistan openers Hazaratullah Zazai and Gurbaz struggled in the first 3 overs. Zazai took on the Bangladeshi bowlers and put them under pressure with aggressive stroke play. At the end of 6 overs, Afghanistan were 42 for 0.
After the power play, overs both Afghan openers continued their charge and made the batting look easy. As things were looking dangerous for Bangladesh, Afif got the breakthrough dismissing Zazai for 47. Afghan openers added 75 runs. The part spinner took Asghar Afghan in the same over to put Afghanistan under pressure. The Bangladeshi bowlers kept a lid on the Afghanistan batting line up and picked wickets at regular intervals to restrict them to 138 for 7. Shafiqullah scored a quickfire 23 of 17 balls.
Chasing down the target of 138 runs to win, it was not an ideal for Bangladesh as they lost 2 early wickets of Liton Das and Najimul Hossain Shanto. Shakib AL Hasan came to the crease and took time to settle. At the end of 6 overs, Bangladesh were 28 for 2.
After the power play overs, AL Hasan played with positive intent and put Afghan bowlers under pressure. Rahim also gave him support to score 26 of 25 balls. Karim Janat got the breakthrough dismissing Rahim. The experienced duo of Rahim and Shakib AL Hasan added 58 runs for the 3rd wicket. Bangladesh lost 3 more quick wickets to be in trouble at 104 for 6. Shakib showed his class and reached his 50 off 34 balls. Mosadek Hossain gave him company and put on unbeaten 35 runs for the 7th wicket. Bangladesh won the match by 4 wickets with 1 over to spare.
Bangladesh 139 for 6 in 19 overs (Shakib AL Hasan 70*, Rashid Khan 2/27, Naveen-ul-Haq 2/20) beat Afghanistan 137 for 8 in 20 overs ( Zazai 47, Afif Hossain 2/9) by 4 wickets.
The finals of the tournament will be played between these two teams on 24th September at Dhaka.