Asia Cup 2018: Mustafizur’s last-over heroics help Bangladesh clinch thrilling win over Afghanistan
Mustafizur Rahman’s tight bowling against Afghanistan in the Super Four stage helped Bangaldesh clinch a thrilling three-run win in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Batting first, Bangladesh didn’t get the best of starts as opener Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Mohammad Mithun after they were reduced to 18/2 at one stage.
But Liton Das’ run-a-ball 41 which had three fours resurrected the Bangladesh innings to a certain extent as they were at 81/3 but a batting slump saw them getting reduced to 87/5 in no time.
But Imrul Kayes and Mahmudullah did re rebuilding work for Bangladesh as the duo took the total to 215 before the latter fell to Aftab Alam for a well-made 74 of 81 balls with the three fours and two sixes.
Kayes, nonetheless, remained on 72 of 89 balls with six fours.
Afghanistan then got off to a wobbly start with Ihsanullah and Rahmat Shah being dismissed with just 26 runs. But wicket-keeper Mohammad Shahzad kept on fighting with a defiant 53 of 81 balls with eight fours.
His fighting knock was brought to an end by Mahmudullah. But skipper Asghar Afghan (39) and Hashmatullah Shahidi (71) with a 89-run partnership. But Shahidi fell with the score at 192/5 opened up the game once again and it paved the way for Bangladesh to comeback into the match and it was all left on Mustafizur to deliver with eight runs to defend off the last over.
The wily left-arm pace bowler did so with thrill and magic as he conceded just four runs in the last six balls he bowled as Bangladesh walked away with a much-needed win by just four runs.
Brief score: Bangladesh 249 for 7 (Mahmudullah 74, Kayes 72*, Alam 3-54) beat Afghanistan 246 for 7(Shahidi 71, Shahzad 53, Mustafizur 2-44) by three runs.