Afghanistan wins the series thanks to the Gurbaz-Zadran record stand
In the second game, played at Chattogram, Afghanistan dominated Bangladesh with a 142-run victory, winning the series against them for the first time ever on a bilateral basis. As they put together a record opening partnership of 256 runs in a strong start, Rahmanullah Gurbaz raced to 145 and Ibrahim Zadran sailed to 100.
At 189 for 9 in 43.2 overs, the home team was unable to contend with the visitors’ strong 331-9 total. Rashid Khan also picked up two wickets, while Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Fazalhaq Farooqi both claimed three wickets to ensure that Bangladesh’s pursuit never got going. This ODI victory over Bangladesh is the biggest for Afghanistan.
The 218 put up by Karim Sadiq and Mohammad Shahzad for the second wicket against Scotland in 2010 was surpassed by Gurbaz and Zadran, who also formed Afghanistan’s greatest ODI partnership on any wicket. Taking nine wickets for 75 runs in the final 14 overs of Afghanistan’s innings, Bangladesh’s bowlers did mount a comeback. But after the significant first stand, it was never enough.
Gurbaz and Zadran got things going right away, scoring eight boundaries in the first Powerplay. This featured Gurbaz’s first sixes, which came off Mustafizur Rahman in the eighth over, a straight six over the bowler’s head and a strong pull. When Towhid Hridoy failed to grasp onto a difficult opportunity coming in from a considerable distance in the next over, Zadran was able to withstand the situation.
The power hitting became even more remarkable, with eight more boundaries being scored in the next ten overs. During this phase, Gurbaz lifted Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Shakib Al Hasan for three sixes. In the 15th over, they reached their 100-run partnership, which marked the first opening century stand against Bangladesh since the 2019 World Cup.
Gurbaz continued to smash the ball hard as he quickly reached his fourth ODI century. After hitting six of his eight sixes and eight boundaries in the run-a-ball century, he finally got it with a single against Shakib. The Afghanistan wicketkeeper gave a lengthy victory celebration as he lapped up the cheers of a packed stadium.
Around the same time, Zadran hit his first six as the partnership increased the pressure on the Bangladeshi bowlers. The partnership scored 69 runs in the next six overs from the 31st over until Gurbaz was out. Then, in an Ebadot Hossain over, Gurbaz smashed four boundaries after Mustafizur was broken for a four and a six. Gurbaz’s final six runs were off Najmul Hossain Shanto, and in the 37th over, Shakib got the better of him.
Afghanistan’s batting breakdown began after the first wicket, as the batters behind him only attempted huge hits. Rahmat Shah hit a drive to Mustafizur Rahman at fine-leg off Ebadot despite surviving an easy run out as Mushfiqur slammed into the stumps before completing the run-out.
Before having Najibullah Zadran caught at long-on in the 44th over, Mehidy Hasan Miraz had bowled skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi for two runs in the over after. Shortly after scoring a century, Ibrahim Zadran was dismissed after being top-edged by Mustafizur Rahman. Before the tail gave way and Mohammad Nabi was left stranded on an unbeaten 25 off 15 balls, Shakib had Rashid Khan stumped for six.
With just 41 runs conceded in nine of the final 14 overs, Mustafizur, Mehidy, and Shakib did a great job of regaining control of the situation. They both took two wickets as well. In addition, Hasan Mahmud claimed two wickets, and Ebadot claimed a single victim.
During that last-second momentum grab by their bowlers, Bangladesh’s batters rarely made any progress. In the first nine overs, Fazalhaq Farooqi dismissed both of the openers, Litton Das and Mohammad Naim. When Litton top edged a pull ball to Nabi at short midwicket in the fifth over, the left-arm quick constricted Litton. Against a short ball from Farooqi, Naim played on to his stumps.
Mujeeb produced the best delivery of the ODI series between these two wickets, a 100 kph delivery that zeroed in on the middle stump before swerving sharply to hit Shanto’s off-stump.
Bangladesh put up a brief fight after that, but Rashid put an end to their dreams with two gorgeous googlies. The first was a peach that snuck past Towhid Hridoy’s prod in the front. He misread the hand and was out for 16, being bowled. Afif edged the opening ball to Nabi at slip after getting a bad bounce.
Nabi took Shakib’s wicket in the 18th over, placing him between these two wickets. After making 25 out of 29 balls, the all-rounder missed an arm ball that swung toward him.
When Mehidy and Mushfiqur Rahim accumulated 87 runs for the seventh wicket, Bangladesh’s tail rapidly collapsed after they were split up in the 37th over. The final victim, Mushfiqur, pulled a catch for Farooqi, giving him his third victim and Afghanistan the series.