Afghanistan won their second-ever Test match buoyed by Rashid Khan's exceptional all-round show.
After fielding an all-spin attack on a surface purported to turn a mile, Bangladesh ended up getting a dose of their own medicine as Afghanistan, led from the front by Rashid Khan, devoured them to win the one-off Test match. After snaring five wickets in the first innings of the Test, Rashid picked up six more in the second to take his Test tally to eleven wickets and lead Afghanistan to their second Test win.
Rashid has played only three Tests to date and has a five-wicket haul in each of those matches. His career-best haul, though, came in the second innings at Chattogram as rain delayed Afghanistan's fifth-day progress. Bangladesh were six down overnight and the game seemed to be Afghanistan's until rain delayed the start of the fifth day. When the rain did relent, Afghanistan had 18.3 overs to force a result and in the end, with four overs to spare, Rashid picked up the final wicket to give his side another Test win.
Earlier, Afghanistan's first innings efforts were given a last-ditch push by Rashid's rapid half-century as he established his all-round credentials early in Test cricket. He made another 22-ball 24 in the second innings to haste the declaration. With the ball, he added a 10-plus wicket haul. He became the first captain to take a 10-wicket haul and score a half-century in his maiden Test as skipper. Overall, only Imran Khan and Allan Border, two exceptional Test all-rounders from the all-time greatest list, had done it before.
Rashid also became the youngest captain to win a Test match. That it occurred in his first match as captain further boosts Rashid's credentials. A worldwide superstar following his T20 performances for franchises around the globe, Rashid was handed over the captaincy before this one-off Test and went about proving that leadership was no burden to his bowling abilities.
Rashid's debut Test was an aberration to the status he carried in the shorter formats. The leg-spinner went for 154 runs in less than 35 overs while picking up just two wickets. Criticism flooded in immediately and the limited-overs tag was soon placed on the leg-break bowler.
Roaring back to silence his critics, Rashid snared a five-for against Ireland at Dehradun to force a result. He came into this Bangladesh Test with the hosts' potent spin attack on home wickets a major threat. Bangladesh at home have proven to be a different beast and have beaten teams like England and Australia of late.
But out-spinning the hosts' spin quartet, Rashid led his own spin army with aplomb. He dismissed Mahmudullah in both innings, Shakib in the first and Mushfiqur Rahim, Mominul Islam and Soumya Sarkar in the second, all key wickets in the context of the game. Rashid, the global star, has arrived in the longer formats too and now has three back-to-back five-plus wicket hauls to boost his status as an all-format player.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / STR