Shanto and Mominul centuries helped in setting Afghanistan’s target for 662

With his second century of the game, Najmul Hossain Shanto is delighted

Bangladesh has positioned themselves for victory after another nearly ideal day in Dhaka, when Najmul Hossain Shanto surpassed the double century for the second time in the Test match. Afghanistan’s objective is improbable—662—and they are fighting for their lives. 

However, their captain, Hashmatullah Shahidi, was injured when he was struck in the helmet by a bouncer from Taskin Ahmed, and he was forced to retire hurt.

Mominul Haque also hit a hundred, scoring 121 off 145 balls while remaining unbeaten, and Shanto reached 124 in 151 balls as Bangladesh dominated the game with the bat. It wasn’t a surprise that they set a target of 662, which is the highest they’ve ever achieved in a Test match. 

They made their intention known before the start of play on Friday, according to head coach Chandika Hathurusinghe. According to him, they intended to bat all the way through. After Mominul scored his hundred, some people anticipated Bangladesh to declare, but the squad decided to wear Afghanistan down instead.

Given that the chase generated two significant wickets in the first 11 balls, it appeared to pay off right away. Ibrahim Zadran was caught lbw by Shoriful Islam for a golden duck, and even DRS couldn’t save the batter. 

The ball was projected to strike the leg stump on which it was pitched. Then, as Abdul Malik went running after the fast bowler’s away swinger, Taskin Ahmed had him caught behind for five.

Shahidi was hit on the head when playing 13 off 14 as he dove into Taskin’s bouncer, which made the situation worse. Shahidi, who was mostly on the ground following the blow, was approached by the Bangladesh slip cordon and fielders as well as the Afghanistan physio. 

After several minutes of on-field examinations, he was able to stand up off the ground, though a stretcher was also brought in for him.

Earlier, Bangladesh’s second innings reached 425 for 4 thanks to the contributions of Shanto, Mominul, Zakir Hasan (71), and Litton Das (66*). The majority of the day was spent waiting for announcements and major milestones. The previous highest for Bangladesh after two innings of batting was 476 against Zimbabwe in 2021. Bangladesh now has a 661-run lead.

Shanto and Zakir put up a second-wicket partnership of 173 runs, marking the first time in a Test match that Bangladesh had two second-wicket partnerships of 100 runs or more. 212 runs were added in the first inning by Shanto and Joy.

On run count 71, Zakir was well outside the striker’s end after Ibrahim received a throw from Nasir Jamal that was relayed to him. In his 95-ball innings, he hit eight fours. 

For the third wicket, 83 runs were contributed by Shanto and Mominul. During this partnership, Shanto scored his century in the second inning. He needed 115 balls to reach the milestone, with the majority of his runs coming between midwicket and the covers.

Shanto’s dismissal came when left-arm wrist spinner Zahir Khan, who also dismissed Mushfiqur Rahim in the same over, delivered a straightforward catch to midwicket. Mushfiqur mistimed a reverse sweep, and Ibrahim was given the ball at slip as a result.

With Mominul achieving his century in the third session, Litton and Mominul took over the baton to continue Bangladesh’s innings. With 123 balls remaining, he blasted Yamin Ahmadzai for four over the slip cordon. Through third man and midwicket, Mominul made the most of his fours. Hamza Hotak delivered his lone six, which he took off the ground. On 66 from 81 balls with eight fours, Litton continued to stay flawless.

In contrast to Hotak, who had one wicket in the second evening, Zahir had taken two on the third day.
Afghanistan 146 and 45 for 2 (Rahmat Shah 10*, Nasir Jamal 5*, Shoriful 1-6) need another 617 runs to beat Bangladesh 382 and 425 for 4 dec (Shanto 124, Mominul 122*, Zahir 2-112)