Dhaka, Sept 15 (UNB) - A tremendous Mohammad Nabi propelled Afghanistan to a challenging total of 164 for six in 20 overs against Bangladesh in their second game of the ongoing Tri-series T20 at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
The veteran all-rounder remained unbeaten on 85 off 54 with three fours and seven big sixes. For Bangladesh, Mohammad Saifuddin bagged four for 33-- his career-best bowling figure.
Afghanistan won the toss and opted to bat first, but failed to manage an expected start as they lost Rahmanullah Gurbaz in the very first ball of the match off Saifuddin who shattered his stumps with an astonishing outswinger. Rahmanullah completely missed the line and lost his stumps.
In the next over, Shakib Al Hasan came in and removed the other opener, Hazratullah Zazai, for one. Zazai tried to clear Shakib through deep mid-wicket area where Liton Das took a high catch.
Afghanistan continued to stutter as they lost the third wicket in third over when Saifuddin took his second wicket of Najeeb Tarakai for 11. This time, Sabbir Rahman took a brilliant catch at the boundary rope.
Two overs later, Shakib struck again in the sixth over to remove Najibullah Zadran who smashed 69 off 30 balls against Zimbabwe on Saturday night. It was an arm-ball from Shakib and Najibullah hit through the mid-off but managed to sky the ball only. Soumya Sarkar picked up a regulation catch to complete his removal. At the end of the powerplay, Afghanistan scored 41 four wickets.
Bangladesh were close to getting the fifth wicket when Afghanistan were 93 at the start of 15th over. But Taijul Islam overstepped to concede a no-ball and a watchful catch at deep went in vain.
Afghanistan added 79 runs in the fifth wicket stand shared by the experienced-duo -- Asghar Afghan and Mohammad Nabi. The partnership was broken when Saifuddin removed Asghar for 40 off 37. In the same over, Saifuddin picked up Gulbadin Naib as well.
Despite losing some quick wickets, Afghanistan ended on 164 for six in 20 overs riding on several mighty blows off Nabi.
For Bangladesh, Saifuddin bagged four wickets for 33 runs, which is now his best bowling display in the shorter format of the international game. Shakib took the remaining two wickets.