Captain Shakib Al Hasan hit a 45-ball 70 not out as Bangladesh snapped Afghanistan’s four-match winning streak against them, beating the visitors by four wickets with six balls left in the Twenty20 tri-series game on Saturday.
Shakib, who hit eight fours and a six, became Bangladesh’s highest scorer in this format with 1,567 runs, eclipsing Tamim Iqbal on 1,556.
The match turned out to be a rehearsal for Tuesday’s final in Dhaka after the early elimination of Zimbabwe, the tournament’s third team.
Shakib’s decision to bowl first paid off as Afghanistan was restricted to 138-7. Shakib then led his team to victory, helping Bangladesh reach 139-6 in 19 overs.
With Bangladesh reeling at 12-2, Shakib and Mushfiqur Rahim combined for a 58-run stand for the third wicket.
But the skipper saw wickets fall around him with Bangladesh at 104-6 in the 16th over after the dismissal of Rahim (26). Mosaddek Hossain (19 not out) supported Shakib in taking Bangladesh home.
Shakib (1-24) is also the highest wicket-taker for Bangladesh in this format with 92 wickets.
“The bowlers bowled well on that wicket and we needed someone to bat through the innings,” Shakib said. “And luckily today it was my day.”
Occasional off-spinner Afif Hossain took 2-9 in three overs for Bangladesh.
Afghanistan’s Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (29) shared 75 off 57 balls for the opening stand before Afif dealt a double blow in his first over. Afif dismissed Zazai for 47 and Asghar Afghan for a duck.
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