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Stanikzai, Shenwari star in superb show

- Bangla lose by 32 runs, their 2nd defeat on the trot
Samiullah Shenwari congratulates Asghar Stanikzai after the latter’s half-century

Fatullah: Afghanistan notched up their first major win against a Test-playing nation, as they produced an all-round performance to script an upset 32-run victory over Bangladesh, in their Asia Cup match, here, on Saturday.

Chasing 255, Bangladesh could not recover from a top-order collapse and kept on losing wickets at regular intervals to be dismissed for 222 in 47.5 overs, at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium, to slump to their second consecutive loss in the tournament.

For Afghanistan, Mohammed Nabi was the pick of the bowlers with figures of three for 44, while Shapoor Zadran and Hamid Hassan took two each.

Barring Mominul Haque (50), Nasir Hossain (41) and Ziaur Rahman (41), none of the Bangladesh batsmen showed patience and character.

Rahman tried to change the course of the game with a few lusty blows towards the end, but his efforts were not enough to stop Afghanistan from creating history.

It was not as if Afghanistan did everything right on the field. Their fielders dropped as many as four catches and their bowlers often wavered from the line and length, giving away easy runs.

But they were gutsy enough to hold their nerves to pull off a dramatic victory over Bangladesh, kicking off jubilation in their camp.

Earlier, half-centuries from Asghar Stanikzai (90 not out) and Samiullah Shenwari (81) took the visitors to 254 for six after being put in to bat.

At one stage, Afghanistan were struggling at 90 for five, but Stanikzai and Shenwari got together and added 164 from 138 balls for the sixth-wicket partnership.

Afghanistan scored 107 runs in the last 10 overs as the duo of Stanikzai and Shenwari unleashed an array of powerful strokes at the death to post a competitive total.

Stanikzai took time to get going initially, as he took 81 balls to reach his fourth ODI fifty.