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Afghanistan begin new chapter with a bang

602   //    06 Jun 2018, 12:49 IST

Rashid Khan has two MoM awards in as many matches
Rashid Khan has two MoM awards in as many matches

Going into the second T20I of the series, the Bangladesh side would've hoped that a change in plan on how to approach Afghanistan's strength - Rashid Khan - might change their fortune. As Abu Hider stated in the post-match conference as well, the plan was to see off Rashid's four overs and attack the others.

That didn't happen though. The Tigers were placed well at 81/3 after half the overs of the first innings were played, that was when Rashid was introduced and Bangladesh lost the plot. The next 10 overs saw them score only 53 runs as their batsmen fell like ninepins to the wily leg-spinner and surprisingly, all of the four batsmen which fell to Rashid's bowling were trying to hit them out of the park.

134 runs were never going to be enough and despite falling behind the run rate in the initial overs, Afghan batsmen were patient enough to wait for the right bowlers. 20 runs were needed off the last 12 when Mohammad Nabi decided to take Rubel Hossain on and slammed those 20 in the 19th over itself.

Shafiqullah Shafiq, Afghanistan's middle order batsman was upbeat about the result and the series win which came with it. He also gave an insight of the team's plans before going in for the chase."

It's a big thing for us that Bangladesh visited us for the first time and we got the better of them. Our board played a big role in the series win. They made sure that we got ample amount of time to get accustomed to the conditions here as we were sent here good 30-40 days before the commencement of the series," he said.

"The management wanted us to play as many overs as possible and save wickets as we have power-hitters down the order who can score 50-60 runs in the last five overs."

With this series win, Afghanistan have started a new chapter in their cricketing journey and what a way to start one. "We consider ourselves best in T20s, we have the world's number one spinner in our side and on our day, we can beat any other side irrespective of their stature in world cricket," Shafiq added.

"It depends on the management whether they want to make some changes in the line-up for the last match, but we'll go into it with a clean sweep in sight."

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