Bangladesh stuns Afghanistan in thrilling T20 match despite Janat’s hat-trick


Bangladesh emerged victorious over Afghanistan in the first T20 international, securing a thrilling two-wicket win with just one ball remaining. Despite Karim Janat’s impressive hat-trick in the final over, the hosts displayed remarkable composure to seal the victory.

The match began with Afghanistan setting a target of 154-7. Initially, Bangladesh appeared to be cruising towards victory as Towhid Hridoy and Shamim Hossain formed a formidable partnership, adding 73 runs for the fifth wicket. The home team was in a commanding position until the Sylhet Stadium witnessed an eruption of dramatic events.

Rashid Khan, Afghanistan’s captain, shattered Bangladesh’s momentum by dismissing Shamim for 33 runs, breaking the crucial partnership. Nevertheless, Bangladesh remained favorites, needing a mere six runs from the final over. Unexpectedly, Janat proved to be the hero for Afghanistan, dismissing Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, and Nasum Ahmed consecutively with the second, third, and fourth deliveries. The hosts were left requiring just two runs for victory.

In a dramatic turn of events, Shoriful Islam, batting at number 10, struck a powerful shot that raced to the boundary, clinching a breathtaking win for Bangladesh. Hridoy remained unbeaten on 47 at the non-striker’s end, while Janat concluded with remarkable figures of 3-15.

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan expressed his confidence in the team’s lower-order batsmen, stating, “We had the belief, all our tail-enders can bat. It was Shoriful’s turn today, but Miraz could have finished it.”

On the other hand, Rashid Khan lamented Afghanistan’s inability to defend their total, remarking, “With the bowling unit we have, that total was enough, but in T20, one innings can take away the game from you.”

During Afghanistan’s innings, they struggled at the start, losing their first four wickets for 52 runs after Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bowl. However, Mohammad Nabi played a stellar unbeaten knock of 54 runs from 40 balls, propelling Afghanistan to a competitive score. Nabi signaled his intent by hitting a boundary off the first ball he faced and maintained the scoring rate with occasional boundaries. Najibullah Zadran provided brief support with a run-a-ball 23 before falling to Mehidy, while Azmatullah Omarzai’s quickfire 33 off 18 deliveries, including four sixes, ensured Afghanistan stayed in the game.

Shakib Al Hasan was the standout bowler for the hosts, claiming two wickets for 27 runs. Similarly, Bangladesh faced early setbacks, reduced to 64-4 as Fazalhaq Farooqi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Omarzai, and Fareed Ahmed each took a wicket. However, Hridoy and Shamim orchestrated a remarkable comeback to steer Bangladesh towards an extraordinary victory.

The second match of the series will take place at the same venue on Sunday, promising another thrilling contest between the two sides.

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