Afghanistan emerged victorious in a rain-affected One Day International (ODI) match against Bangladesh, taking a 1-0 lead in the series. Despite multiple rain breaks and interruptions, Afghanistan’s fine bowling performance proved decisive as they defeated Bangladesh by 17 runs, surpassing the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) par score. This blog post provides a descriptive analysis of the match, highlighting key moments, standout performances, and the overall narrative.
Rain Delays and Reduced Overs:
The match, held in Chattogram, witnessed a total of three hours and 15 minutes of rain delays, resulting in a reduction of overs to 43 per side. However, even the revised overs couldn’t be completed as a final downpour forced the players off the field. At that point, Afghanistan, batting first, had reached 83 for 2 in 21.4 overs, and with the DLS par score being 17 runs lower, they were declared the winners.
Fazalhaq Farooqi’s Bowling Excellence:
Fazalhaq Farooqi played a pivotal role in Afghanistan’s victory, being the standout bowler of the match. He claimed three wickets for just 24 runs, continuing his impressive form from the previous ODI series at the same venue. Alongside him, Afghanistan’s spin trio of Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman applied pressure on the Bangladeshi batsmen, collectively taking five wickets for 69 runs in 24 overs.
Bangladesh’s Batting Struggles:
Bangladesh faced significant challenges while chasing Afghanistan’s target. Despite a promising start from Litton Das and Najmul Hossain Shanto, who hit five boundaries, Bangladesh’s batting collapsed from 103 for 3 to 169 for 9 in 43 overs. The lack of substantial partnerships and several soft dismissals contributed to their downfall. Towhid Hridoy’s fifty stood out amidst the batting collapse, but he lacked support from the other end.
Groundstaff and Spectators’ Resilience:
The efforts of the groundstaff at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium deserve high praise for their tireless work in covering and uncovering the pitch to protect it from the rain. Despite minimal overhead cover, the near-capacity crowd demonstrated resilience, staying throughout most of the game. They had to seek shelter on staircases to shield themselves from the rain sweeping in from the south.
Missed Opportunities and Deceptive Performances:
While both teams had their chances, Afghanistan’s players stood out more consistently. Bangladesh missed several opportunities with three dropped catches and 24 extras, offering relief to the visitors. However, the Bangladeshi batsmen failed to capitalize on these chances, and apart from Tamim Iqbal’s dismissal, their batting performance flattered to deceive. Shakib Al Hasan’s slow innings and Bangladesh’s struggle to score runs in the last 20 overs proved costly.
Afghanistan’s Patient Approach:
During their chase, Afghanistan adopted a watchful approach. Openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran focused on building a solid foundation, striking only four boundaries in their partnership of 54 runs. Gurbaz fell to Shanto after scoring 22 off 45 balls, while Rahmat Shah was caught at slip by Litton off Taskin. Ibrahim Zadran remained unbeaten on 41 off 58 balls with five boundaries, accompanied by captain Hashmatullah Shahidi.
Despite rain interruptions and a reduced oversformat, Afghanistan emerged victorious in the rain-affected ODI against Bangladesh. Their fine bowling performance, led by Fazalhaq Farooqi and supported by the spin trio, created immense pressure on the Bangladeshi batsmen. Bangladesh struggled with their batting, experiencing a collapse in the latter half of their innings. The groundstaff’s dedicated efforts and the spectators’ resilience were commendable throughout the rain delays. However, missed opportunities and deceptive performances hindered Bangladesh’s chances of victory. Afghanistan’s patient approach during the chase proved effective, ultimately leading them to a well-deserved win.