Mahmudullah drops a sitter
Bangladesh had the opportunity to leave an early dent in the Afghanistan innings but Mahmudullah made a mess of a simple chance to extend Bangladesh’s wait for their first breakthrough. In the penultimate ball of the second over Rahmanullah Gurbaz tried to pull a Shafiul Islam delivery but miscued his shot and the ball went straight up towards fine leg. Mahmudullah didn’t have to move an inch as the ball came straight to him but he failed to hold onto the ball as it popped out of his hands. Gurbaz, who was batting on one, ended up making 29 off 27 balls.
Afif’s double strike
Newcomer Afif Hossain turned the momentum of the match with the ball in hand, when the all-rounder bowled a maiden double-wicket over to peg back Afghanistan after a strong start. Afghanistan were well placed on 75-0 after nine overs, with Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz batting on 47 and 25 respectively. Afif came to try his luck with the ball in the 10th over, and after bowling two dot balls he claimed the prized wicket of Zazai and sent back Asghar Afghan for a duck just two balls later. Afif ended the over with another dot ball to complete the maiden and finished with 2-9 in three overs.
Mushfiq’s near blunder
Mushfiqur Rahim nearly made another wicket-keeping gaffe against Afghanistan, when he almost nudged the wicket with his helmet before breaking the stumps with the ball. In the second ball of the 14th over off Afif Hossain, Najibullah Zadran guided the ball towards point and scampered for a single. Mahmudullah ran to the ball and threw it to the keeper’s end where Mushfiq grabbed the ball and broke the stumps before Gulbadin Naib could make it to the crease. However, after it was referred to the third umpire, replays showed that while breaking the stumps Mushfiq’s helmet came very close to the stumps, making it unclear whether the helmet hit the stumps before the hands. The third umpire, however, decided in favour of Bangladesh saving Mushfiq from more scrutiny.
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