Rashid Khan, Afghanistan’s leg-spin sensation, conceded just seven off the last over to seal victory by a solitary run.
Rashid’s Last Over Helps Afghanistan Sweep Bangladesh 3-0
When team Afghanistan was about to lose the last match of the Twenty20 International against Bangladesh, it was Rashid Khan who saved the team by a magical performance in his last over.
He defended eight runs off the last over of Bangladesh’s chase of 146 to seal the final game of the T20I series and complete a 3-0 whitewash.
Rashid’s last over, a mix of wrong’uns and leg-breaks that had the batsmen completely confused, was all the more miraculous since coming into the over it was Bangladesh who were in the ascendancy.
A quintet of boundaries from Mushfiqur Rahim in the 19th had given the Tigers the initiative and reduced their target to single figures.
Such is his presence that the early run outs of Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar, both in the last over of the Powerplay and both a result of the non-striker setting off after the ball was hit straight to short fine leg, still felt partly attributable to him, with Bangladesh hoping to cash in before he inevitably tied them down.
Tamim Iqbal too fell loosely, attacking perhaps unnecessarily in the face of a modest target. He hit Mujeeb Ur Rahman down extra cover’s throat as the rest of Afghanistan’s bowling attack stepped up, with the exception of medium pacer Karim Janat, who bowled the 19th over which had seemed pivotal and conceded 44 from his quota.
Earlier, Afghanistan had made their way to 145/6 after a solid if uninspiring batting display. Opening pair Mohammad Shahzad and Osman Ghani set the tone, the latter particularly struggling but hanging in there in a first-wicket stand of 55, which consumed 7.4 overs.
The stand ended as Shahzad missed a reverse sweep and was struck on the pad. Soon after, Ghani’s tortuous stay came to a close as he gloved through to the keeper.
Captain Asghar Stanikzai helped arrest the slide. He struck three sixes in a 17-ball stay before being caught at long-on attempting a fourth.
The dangerous Mohammad Nabi came and went, chipping Abu Jayed to mid-off, as Afghanistan struggled in the slog overs. Najibullah Zadran scored at less than a run a ball and Samiullah Shinwari didn't fare much better. Still, the latter’s unbeaten 33 lifted Afghanistan to some sort of total, the ICC said in a report on its website.