Skipper Rashid Khan and left-arm wrist-spinner Zahir Khan shared five wickets between them to take Afghanistan further close to their first ever overseas win in Test cricket.
Chasing a victory target of 398, Bangladesh find themselves in a precarious position of 136/6 at the end of fourth day’s play in the ongoing Test in Chittagong. Skipper Shakib Al Hasan and Soumya Sarkar were unbeaten at 39 and 0 respectively, when the fourth rain interruption of the day forced early stumps on Sunday, 8 September. The hosts will be hoping for more rain as four wickets separate them from a defeat.
Resuming the day at 237/8, Afghanistan could add only 23 more runs to the total, as the innings finally folded out for 260 in 90.1 overs. Wicket-keeper batsman Afsar Zazai backed up his 41 in the first innings with a gritty 48 in the second, powering his side to a healthy 397-run lead. Skipper Shakib Al Hasan was the pick of the bowlers for Bangladesh with three wickets, while Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam and Nayeem Hasan bagged two scalps each.
Bangladesh had a decent start to their second innings, going into lunch at 30/0, before spinners took control in the final two sessions of play. Liton Das was trapped plumb in front by Zahir for 9, after having survived a caught behind call on review earlier in the over. Mosaddek Hossain, who was promoted up the order soon followed, hitting one to Asghar Afghan at long off, giving Zahir his second wicket.
Skipper Rashid then took control, striking twice to remove the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim and Mominul Haque within a span of three overs, as Bangladesh stood at 102/4 at tea.
All-rounder Mohammad Nabi struck in the third over of the final session, trapping the set Shadman Islam leg-before for 41. Rashid then deceived Mahmudullah with a wrong’un, gaining his eighth wicket of the match. Shakib however, continued his resistance, mixing caution with aggression, hitting four boundaries during his 46-ball stay at the crease.
With the forecast appearing gloomy, Afghanistan will hope for the skies to clear soon on the final day, as they eye a historic win and with it, a fitting farewell for all-rounder Mohammad Nabi, who makes his final appearance in whites on Monday.