With nine runs to defend in the final over, Rashid seals a last-ball win

In-form leggie Rashid Khan continued to cast doom on Bangladesh as Afghanistan clinched the series 3-0 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Thursday.

Thanks to Shafiqullah’s sensational save on the boundary off the last ball, Rashid managed to defend nine runs in the last over to leave Bangladesh agonisingly short of Afghanistan’s total of 145 for six by one run.

With Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim deciding to take the game deep after hara-kiri in running between the wickets had left Bangladesh reeling at 60 for four at the half-way stage, Afghanistan skipper Asghar Stanikzai saved Rashid to bowl the 16th, 18th and 20th overs.

However, the ploy almost backfired with Mushfiqur taking Karim Janat to the cleaners in the penultimate over. With 30 required off the last two overs, the diminutive batsman, scoring less than run-a-ball till then, creamed five fours off the first five balls before ending the over with a single.

With nine runs to defend, Rashid started off by forcing Mushfiqur to hole out to deep mid-wicket off the first ball.

Mahmudullah and Ariful Haque were unable to get a boundary off the next four balls and four runs were required off the last ball.

Ariful finally timed a lofted on-drive to perfection but Shafiqullah ran to his left and first thumped the ball into the field, then tapped the ball back in the field before getting up and throwing to the ’keeper’s end to leave Mahmudullah short.

The scores: Afghanistan 145 for six in 20 overs (Samiullah Shenwari 33, Asghar Stanikzai 27, Mohammad Shahzad 26; Nazmul Islam two for 18, Abu Jayed two for 27) bt Bangladesh 144 for six in 20 overs (Mushfiqur Rahim 46, Mahmudullah 45).