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Afghanistan strengthen hold on B’desh as lead swells to 374



Chattogram, Sep 7: Afghanistan put themselves firmly in the driver's seat on Day 3 of their one-off Test against Bangladesh in Chattogram on Saturday. After dismissing Bangladesh for 205, Afghanistan's lead ballooned to 374 largely thanks to a 108-run stand between Asghar Afghan and 17-year-old opener Ibrahim Zadran.

Bangladesh started the day on 196/8 and Mohammad Nabi, playing his last Test, took the first wicket of the day off his third ball, bowling Tauijul Islam through the gate. Two overs later, Afghanistan skipper Rashid Khan finished things off  by trapping Nayeem Hasan LBW, thus completing his five-wicket haul. 

Afghanistan started their second innings with a lead of 137. Bangladesh star Shakib-al-Hasan however ensured that they didn't get off to a smooth start, taking back to back wickets off his second and third ball in the opening over. He first trapped Ihsanullah before the stumps and then dismissed first innings centurion Rahmat Shah with a catch off his own bowling. Hashmatullah Shahidi was then dismissed on 12 by Nayeem Hasan after which Asghar and Zadran deflated the hosts for a better part of the next 47 overs. 

Asghar, who missed out on a ton by just eight runs in the first innings, scored his second fifty of the Test before falling to Taijul Islam. 14 overs later, Ibrahim Zadran fell on 87 off 208 balls as he tried to go for a maximum over long on off Nayeem Hasan. He ended up finding the fielder on the boundary. 

That left wicketkeeper Afsar Zazai to bat with the tail. He had a 30-run stand with Rashid Khan, who scored a 50 in the first innings, before the latter fell to Taijul. At the stumps, which was induced by a power failure in the stadium, Afghanistan were 237/8 with Zazai being accompanied by Yamin Ahmadzai. 

Brief scores: Afghanistan 342 & 237/8 (Ibrahim Zadran 87, Asghar Afghan 50; Shakib Al Hasan 3/53); Bangladesh 205 (Mominul Haque 52, Mosaddek Hossain 48; Rashid Khan 5/55)

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