Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Rashid Khan leads with bat, ball to put Afghanistan on top

Rashid Khan celebrates a wicket with his team-mates BCB

Stumps Bangladesh 194 for 8 (Mominul 52, Mosaddek 44*, Rashid 4-47, Nabi 2-53 ) trail Afghanistan 342 (Rahmat 102, Afghan 92, Rashid 51, Taijul 4-116) by 148 runs

Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan placed his side in a strong position against Bangladesh at the end of the second day with a fine allround show. After an attacking half-century that propelled the visitors to a competitive 342, Rashid had figures of 4-47 including the wickets of his counterpart Shakib Al Hasan, wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah. These blows snuffed the fight out of Bangladesh, as they struggled to 194-8 at stumps.

Rashid found great support in Mohammad Nabi's two wickets as well as Yamin Ahmadzai and Qais Ahmad, who picked up one each. They have put Afghanistan in a position from where they can genuinely entertain the possibility of beating Bangladesh, who have been jolted by yet another poor showing. The hosts are behind by 148 runs, with very little room to come back into the game.

Mosaddek Hossain and Taijul Islam's 48-run unbroken ninth wicket stand, however, has given them a glimmer of hope. Mosaddek is unbeaten on 44 off 74 balls, while Taijul, previously proven to be a dogged customer, has battled his way through 55 balls for his 14 runs.

Bangladesh's lowest ebb came shortly before the tea interval when Shakib and Mushfiqur fell within three balls of each other. Rashid took both wickets, trapping Shakib lbw with a conventional leg-break, and having Mushfiqur caught at short leg, somewhat contentiously, as it was unclear whether his defensive prod bounced off his boot or took some earth with it before being snaffled by Ibrahim Zadran. But as is usually the case with such close calls, since the on field umpire's soft signal was out, and there was no conclusive evidence to reverse it, the decision was upheld.

Regardless, the batting debacle began quite early, when Shadman Islam was caught behind in the first over, shortly before the lunch break. Yamin Ahmadzai had him edging a pretty wide delivery for a duck. On the other side of lunch, Nabi trapped Soumya Sarkar lbw after the left-hander had batted cautiously for 19 overs. Liton Das, who struck three fours and a six in his 33, misread the length of a Rashid delivery that snuck under his pull shot. It was followed by a short period of recovery before Rashid picked up those two big wickets, and had Bangladesh on the mat.

Soon after the tea break, Mahmudullah became Rashid's fourth wicket when he missed a wrong 'un. A little later, Mominul Haque hit Nabi straight to mid-on, after reaching his fifty, and the follow-on danger not quite averted yet . Mehidy Hasan's strange choice of shot gave Qais Ahmad his maiden Test wicket, but it was followed by a late ninth-wicket resistance.

At the start of the day, the visitors added 71 runs to their overnight 271-5, with Rashid hammering three sixes and two fours in his maiden Test fifty. Asghar Afghan, however, couldn't become the second centurion from his side as fell for 92, adding just four to his overnight score. Taijul took two early wickets, including that of Asghar - making it four for the innings for him - before Shakib supplied two more, but Rashid farmed the strike with the tail, pushing Bangladesh on the backfoot.

Bangladesh 4th innings Partnerships

1st30Liton DasShadman Islam
2nd22Mosaddek HossainShadman Islam
3rd26Mushfiqur RahimShadman Islam
4th4Mominul HaqueShadman Islam
5th24Shakib Al HasanShadman Islam
6th19MahmudullahShakib Al Hasan
7th18Shakib Al HasanSoumya Sarkar
8th23Soumya SarkarMehidy Hasan Miraz
9th0Taijul IslamSoumya Sarkar
10th7Soumya SarkarNayeem Hasan