Back in March, Afghanistan won their maiden Test and gave a good account of themselves. Now, the team, led by Rashid Khan, kept Bangladesh at bay in the opening day of the one-off Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram. The visiting team will be more or less satisfied as they finished with 271 for five in 96 overs courtesy of Rahmat Shah and Asghar Afghan’s brilliance.
Taijul Islam strikes
The Tigers went in with an all-spin attack and made their intentions clear. After Afghanistan won the toss and elected to bat first, the hosts started well as Taijul Islam struck first blood, cleaning up Ihsanullah Janat. Debutant Ibrahim Zadran (21) looked solid, but he fell prey to Taijul as well. Just on the stroke of lunch, Mahmudullah got rid of Hashmatullah Shahidi (14), caught by Soumya Sarkar.
The onus was then up to Rahmat Shah (102) and former skipper Asghar Afghan (88*) to resurrect the visitors’ innings. In the meantime, rain halted play in between. Following the delay, the pair added 114 runs in the post-Lunch session. Rahmat got to his half-century off 85 balls and remained not out on 98 by the end of the second session. Even Afghan was on the brink of a half-century.
Afghan sees his team through
The third session didn’t begin well for Afghanistan. Shah became the nation’s first Test centurion off 186 balls. But in the very next ball, he went for an expansive drive off Nayeem Hasan only to get caught by Sarkar in the slip. In the same over, Nayeem rattled Mohammad Nabi’s woodwork for a golden duck. Then it was turn of Afsar Zazai (35*) to give Afghan company for the remaining overs.
The duo didn’t allow panic settle in and started building another solid partnership. Since, the Tigers operated with spinners, barring the four overs of part-timer Sarkar, they finished their quota of 90 overs before time. As many as eight bowling options were used by skipper Shakib Al Hasan, but apart from Nayeem and Taijul, the rest couldn’t quite ruffle the feathers of Afghanistan’s batters.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the days play
First to score Test century for each team
Charles Bannerman 🇦🇺
WG Grace 🇬🇧
Jimmy Sinclair 🇿🇦
Clifford Roach 🌴
Stewie Dempster 🇳🇿
Lala Amarnath 🇮🇳
Nazar Mohammad 🇵🇰
Sidath Wettimuny 🇱🇰
Dave Houghton 🇿🇼
Aminul Islam 🇧🇩
Kevin O'Brien 🇮🇪
Rahmat Shah 🇦🇫#BANvAFG
— Deepu Narayanan (@deeputalks) September 5, 2019
271/5… even with all the extra overs, @ACBofficials in a brilliant position here… #Afghani #BANvAFG
— Ayb💭 (@NocturnalDude84) September 5, 2019
Absorbing day's cricket in Chattogram. Rahmat Shah makes history while Asghar Afghan kept the revival going. Bangladesh's spinners bowled well for most of the day, and showed patience. #BANvAFG
— Mohammad Isam (@Isam84) September 5, 2019
One thing about playing a bowling attack full of spinners is that you can get through 96 overs in the day. Afghanistan 271/5 stumps day 1, Rahmat Shah 102 Asghar Afghan 88* #BanvAfg https://t.co/09hcpL8YXN
— Rick Eyre on cricket (@rickeyrecricket) September 5, 2019
96 overs bowled in Chittagong in 6 hours….well done Bangla, see it can be done…. #BanvAfg
— Innocent Bystander (@InnoBystander) September 5, 2019
Ladies and Gentlemen! Meet the youngest captain in Men’s Test cricket – @rashidkhan_19 pic.twitter.com/IOunMKSI0t
— CricTracker (@Cricketracker) September 5, 2019
Rahmat Shah scripts history. Became first Afghan to score a Test century. There's many more to come from this gritty team. Glorious day of Test cricket played by Afghanistan in only their second Test. This team is having a beautiful journey.#BANvAFG #test #Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/KAeYGtiaE8
— Tej (@ItsTej) September 5, 2019
Okay the Afghanis have started well. Showing they are not pushovers. #BANvAFG
— Vidit (@Mr_Vidit) September 5, 2019
@guerillacricket Asghar Afghan is playing the innings of his life probably, has already hit 2 sixes.
Watch out, Stokesy!
— Lea (@LinuxLea) September 5, 2019
4 off 7 batsman who batted today registered their highest individual test score.
— Merin Kumar ™ (@merin_kumar) September 5, 2019
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