Afghanistan recorded their second ever Test victory in just their third ever match in the format, when they beat Bangladesh by 224 runs in the one-off Test at Chittagong on Monday.
Day five started off with Afghanistan needing four wickets to win and register their biggest win in the international arena so far. Play did not start in time with heavy overnight rain in Chittagong. 262 runs were required for Bangladesh to win, and after the covers were off, the duo of Soumya Sarkar and Shakib al Hasan managed to counter Nabi and Rashid’s threat in the first four overs, before play was stopped once again by fresh showers.
But the first ball by Zahir Khan to Shakib after play resumed was the one that sparked the day’s proceedings into action. He was caught by Zazai, and Afghanistan gained fresh hope in their pursuit to seal the coveted win.
Sarkar aimed to counter the Afghanistan bowlers, who were bowling with the fielders gathered in close around the Bangladesh batsmen. He was successful to an extent when he hit consecutive fours off the bowling of Zahir Khan, and for the next six overs in the last session, Bangladesh managed to prevent losing any more wickets.
But just as it was looking like the duo of Mehidy Hasan and Soumya Sarkar might put up a strong resistance, Mehidy was trapped right in front of the stumps by Rashid Khan, and Afghanistan were two wickets away from victory.
Nayeem Hasan was the next to depart in Rashid’s next over, when he was trapped LBW, although replays suggested that the ball might have hit the bat before crashing into the pads. But with no reviews remaining, Bangladesh were helpless.
Afghanistan kept sticking to their strategy of alternating between the spin of Rashid and Zahir, and when Soumya Sarkar took a single with four balls still remaining for Nayeem Hasan to face, he clutched his face in his hands, fearing the worst.
Nayeem though, managed to bat through the over, and things got even more tense, with Afghanistan just having four overs to create history.
It was Rashid in the end, who took the wicket of Soumya Sarkar, sharp spin giving a catch to Ibrahim Zadran at short-leg, and the Afghanistan players subsequently commencing wild celebrations across the ground.
Captain Rashid Khan’s figures of 21.4-6-49-6 were impressive in the last innings, while Zahir Khan picked up three wickets. Mohammad Nabi chipped in with one wicket, meaning that all the Bangladesh wickets were taken by spinners.