Rashid Khan and Zahir Khan leave Bangladesh in tatters

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Tea Bangladesh 102 for 4 (Shadman Islam 39*, Shakib Al Hasan 14*) and 205 need another 296 runs to beat Afghanistan 260 (Ibrahim Zadran 87, Asghar Afghan 50, Afsar Zazai 48*, Shakib Al Hasan 3-58) and 342

Wristspin took out four Bangladesh wickets on the fourth afternoon, as Afghanistan took major strides towards a remarkable Test victory. The home side went to tea on 102 for 4, with a session and a day left in the one-off Test in Chattogram. Incessant rain can be their only saviour it would seem, because their batsmen haven’t shown any signs of looking to survive.

Bangladesh’s plan to send three right-hand batsmen at the top of the order to counter offspinner Mohammad Nabi was brilliantly countered in turn when Rashid introduced Zahir Khan, the left-arm spinner who is making his Test debut, after the lunch break.

The ninth delivery after the break, which was extended by 30 minutes due to rain, Zahir removed Liton Das with a delivery that rushed past his front pad which he had planted in front of the stumps. Zahir then dismissed Mosaddek who played a negligent inside-out shot that was well caught by a tumbling Asghar Afghan at wide long-off.

Mushfiqur Rahim fell to Rashid Khan for the second time in the game, this time out lbw after missing a forward press to a full delivery. He had been hitting the sweeps sweetly, but Rashid continues to be his bogeyman, having dismissed him six times in nine matches across formats. Mominul, who made a fifty in the first innings, became Rashid’s second victim when he too fell lbw to a legbreak.

Things could have been far worse had Rashid held on to a return catch from Shakib Al Hasan five minutes before the tea interval, but he spilled the one-handed attempt.

Shadman Islam remained unbeaten on 39, with Shakib giving him company on 14 not out. They have Mahmudullah and Soumya Sarkar left in a long batting line-up.

The day’s first two hours and ten minutes was lost to rain, after which Afghanistan added 23 runs to their overnight 237 for 8. They were bowled out for 260 in their second innings, Afsar Zazai remaining unbeaten on 48 off 110 balls. Shakib Al Hasan finished with three wickets while there were two each for Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam and Nayeem Hasan.

Afghanistan’s second-innings score was built on fifties by Ibrahim Zadran and Asghar Afghan, as well as contributions from Zazai and Rashid Khan.

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