CHITTAGONG: Rahmat Shah became the first from Afghanistan to hit a Test hundred as a resolute batting performance against Bangladesh earned them the first-day honors.
Rahmat’s 102 and Asghar Afghan’s 88 not out led Afghanistan to 271-5 at stumps in the one-off Test, the visitors’ third ever. Rahmat and Asghar came together at the start of the second session, after Afghanistan went to lunch at 77-3. They batted through the session, and achieved a national record 120-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Afsar Zazai, on 35, was with Asghar at stumps, on a record 74-run stand for the sixth wicket. After new Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan, the youngest skipper in Test history at age 20, won the toss and lined up four spinners – two making their debut – to face Bangladesh’s four, the home side bit first.
Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam flummoxed Ihsanullah Janat on 4 with a googly for his 100th wicket in 25 Tests, making him the fastest Bangladeshi to the milestone. Taijul also dismissed the other opener, Ibrahim Zadran, with 21 on debut, and Mahmudullah struck in his first over to remove Hashmatullah Shahidi on 14.
Asghar joined Rahmat to frustrate Bangladesh in the second session, and put up runs at good pace on a pitch that offered turn and bounce aplenty. Their careful approach kept Afghanistan unscathed. “They were bowling a good line and length and had a good field setup for me,” Rahmat said. “It was not easy for me to score runs, that is why I was using the crease and coming on the front foot as well.”