Friday, 08 June 2018 - 11:36
Afghanistan wins, cobra dance adds colour


Afghanistan showed they will be a force to be reckoned with by beating Bangladesh in the 3rd and final T20I at Dehra Dun, India, recording a 3 nil win in the series.

Batting first, Afghanistan scored 145 for 6 in their 20 overs.

In reply, the Bangladeshis reached 144 for 6.

With four runs needed off the last ball, Ariful Haque swung Rashid Khan towards long-on.

Were Bangladesh going to deny Afghanistan a 3-0 whitewash? Not quite.

With two athletic interventions at the boundary, Shafiqullah prevented the ball from going over the boundary for six and then from rolling past it for four.

Then the ball somehow made its way to the wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad before Bangladesh could complete the match-tying third run.

This wasn't quite over, though. The third umpire was called in to see if Shafiqullah had stepped beyond the boundary when he flicked the ball back into the field of play.

It was a matter of an inch, but he had not. Afghanistan had completed the perfect finish to the series, winning by one wicket and sealing a 3-0 scoreline.

The third T20 burst into life in the last two overs, which began with Bangladesh needing 30 to win.

Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah, who had put on Bangladesh's only 50-plus stand of the series, knew the penultimate over was do-or-die as Rashid was due to bowl the last over.

Mushfiqur blasted Karim Janat over point and then pulled him and drove him through and over long-on to pick up four consecutive boundaries.

It became five in a row when Mushfiqur brought out an inch-perfect reverse-sweep to bisect backward point and short third man.

The 21-run over brought the equation down to nine runs off the last over, but it was against Rashid.

Mushfiqur fell off the first ball, caught at deep midwicket slog-sweeping, and neither Ariful nor Mahmudullah could find the boundary
off the next four balls, leaving the newcomer on strike with four needed off the last ball.

Ariful finally managed a meaty hit, but Shafiqullah ensured he would have the final word.


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