Spinner Rashid Khan picked up six wickets to lead Afghanistan to a famous 224-run victory over Bangladesh in the maiden test match between the two sides in Chattogram on Monday. The wet weather forced the players indoors for almost the entire day, but when play resumed in the final session, Bangladesh were bowled out for 173, with under four overs left to survive for a draw.
Racing against time to complete a win with less than four overs left in the weather-hit match, Afghanis bundled out the hosts for 173 in their second innings amid a drizzle and fading light. The 20-year-old Rashid, who became the youngest test captain ever during the one-off match, took six for 49 in the second innings to finish with 11 wickets in the match to go with his knock of 51 with the bat in the first innings.
Rashid was adjudged the player of the match, which he dedicated to fellow spinner and former captain Mohammad Nabi who retired from tests but will continue to play white-ball cricket. Playing only their third test match after being inducted as a test-playing nation two years back, it was the second victory for the strife-torn country.
“We are new in this format, total credit goes to the coaching staff and the players for this victory,” Rashid said at the presentation ceremony. “We had the best preparation for this game. The only thing (I said) from my side was enjoy your bowling and enjoy your batting, that's what matters in test cricket. Everyone applied themselves, it was a total team effort.”
Rahmat Shah's 102 - the first century in the format by an Afghanistan batsman - and a 92 from Asghar Afghan allowed the touring side to post 342 in the first innings. Rashid and Nabi, who took 3-56 in the first innings, then combined to skittle Bangladesh for 205 for a handy first innings lead. Afghanistan then made 260 in their second innings to set Bangladesh a steep target to chase on a spinning track.
Once Afghanistan reduced Bangladesh to 136-6 in the second innings, the fate of the match was almost decided but for the intervention of bad weather. Heavy showers allowed little play through the final day leaving Afghanistan with about 18.3 overs in the final session to take the remaining four wickets and force a result. Rashid took three out of those with just 3.2 overs remaining.