High-flying Afghanistan rattled Bangladesh through its spinners to notch a convincing seven-wicket victory and a berth in the Super 4 of the Asia Cup on Tuesday.
Off-break bowler Mujeeb Ur Rahman and leg-spinner Rashid Khan restricted Bangladesh to 127-7 by snaring six wickets between them after captain Shakib Al Hasan won the toss in his 100th Twenty20 international and opted to bat.
Najibullah Zadran made a blistering unbeaten 43 off 17 balls as he smashed five of his six sixes against Bangladesh fast bowlers in the death overs and Afghanistan cruised to 131-3 with nine balls to spare.
Ibrahim Zadran made a sedate unbeaten 42 off 41 balls but Najibullah took charge against fast bowlers Mustafizur Rahman (0-30) and Mohammad Saifuddin (1-27) as Afghanistan topped Group B with its second straight win.
“Everyone knows Rashid and Mujeeb are world-class spinners, that’s why we were in the game in the first 10 overs,” Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi said. “Everyone knows we have power hitters in the death and that’s why we made sure not to lose early wickets, so that our power hitters could finish the game.”
Earlier, off-spinner Mujeeb mopped the top three batters, including the key wicket of Shakib, inside the batting powerplay to finish with 3-18 before Rashid (3-22) rushed through the middle-order with his sharp googlies.