The recently concluded 3-match ODI series between Bangladesh and Afghanistan played at the Shere Bangla Stadium in Mirpur came to an end with a 2-1 victory for the hosts. However, the Afghans, to their credit, fought hard throughout and did not allow the home team to dominate the series.
After the Bangladeshis managed to grab a tense win in the first match by just 7 runs, the visitors made a comeback by registering a 2-wicket win to level the ODI series 1-1. Bangladesh finally came into their own in the final game and trounced Afghanistan by 141 runs to claim the series.
There are a number of talking points that emerged from the series based on the performances of both teams and their players. Here are 5 of the primary ones:
#1 Tamim Iqbal’s ominous form
Tamim Iqbal did his reputation of being the best batsman ever from Bangladesh no harm at all by scoring big runs in the ODI series against Afghanistan. Apart from the 2nd ODI, where he was dismissed for 20, the southpaw top-scored for his team with 80 and 118 in the 1st and 3rd match respectively.
During his knock in the 1st ODI, Iqbal became the only cricketer from his country to score 9000 runs in international cricket (including all 3 formats). The experienced Bangladeshi batsman finished the series with a tally of 218 runs at a very healthy average of 72.66 and a strike in excess of 86.
Considering the way Tamim Iqbal is batting at present, it may not come as a surprise to see him pile on the runs for Bangladesh in the coming months and years.
#2 Bangladesh’s 100th win in ODI cricket
Bangladesh have come a long way as an ODI team since their first ever 50-over international match against Pakistan back in 1986, which they lost by 7 wickets. More than 30 years after their debut appearance, the Tigers have managed to achieve the milestone of 100 ODI wins.
It took them 315 matches in the format to accomplish this feat and they currently have a win percentage of 32.15%. The prized 100th victory for the Bangladeshis came about in the series-deciding 3rd ODI and it turned out to be an emphatic one as they won by 141 runs.
The Zimbabwean team has been at the receiving end of 39 out of Bangladesh’s 100 wins so far whereas Australia have lost just 1 match to them.
#3 Rashid Khan’s bowling heroics
Teenage leg-spinner Rashid Khan has quickly established himself as one of the mainstays of the Afghanistan bowling attack. The 18-year old put together a brilliant display in the recently concluded series against Bangladesh, and ended up as the highest wicket-taker with 7 wickets at a terrific average of under 16.
Rashid played a key role in his team’s only victory of the bilateral series with figures of 3 for 35 which helped restrict the hosts to a score of just 208. Even in matches that the Afghans lost, the leggie held his own by picking up 2 wickets and conceding less than 40 runs in each of the two games.
The profusely talented Rashid Khan is improving with every international match that he plays and this is a great sign for Afghanistan cricket.
#4 Mosaddek Hossain’s spectacular debut
Young all-rounder Mosaddek Hossain turned out to be one of the finds of the series for Bangladesh. The 20-year old shone bright on his ODI debut with both bat and ball but was highly unfortunate to end up on the losing side when the match got over.
To begin with, Hossain top-scored with an unbeaten 45 in the Bangladeshi total of 208 in their 50 overs. Later on in the game, he was brought in to bowl his off-spin in the 14th over of the Afghanistan innings and the youngster responded with a wicket off his very first ball when he got rid of Hashmatullah Shahidi.
Mosaddek Hossain went on to complete his quota of 10 overs and finished with figures of 2 for 30, ensuring a perfect debut in terms of individual performance.
#5 Mohammad Nabi’s all-round brilliance
Over the years, Mohammad Nabi has been the top all-rounder for Afghanistan in international cricket and he lived up to this tag in their series against Bangladesh, too. With the bat, he scored 82 runs in 3 innings at an average of 27.33 and a handy strike rate of over 86.
In addition, Nabi also claimed 6 wickets with his off-spin and conceded his runs at a miserly economy rate of 3.23. The 31-year old’s best performance came in the 2nd ODI as he recorded incredible figures of 2 for 16 and scored 49 runs to help the Afghans record their only win in the series.
Mohammad Nabi picked up the ‘Man of the Match’ award for this tremendous all-round performance.