Chittagong: Captain Shakib Al Hasan hit a 45-ball 70 not out as Bangladesh snapped Afghanistan’s four-match winning streak against them, beating the visitors by four wickets with six balls left in the Twenty20 tri-series game on Saturday.
Shakib, who hit eight fours and a six, became Bangladesh’s highest scorer in this format with 1,567 runs, eclipsing Tamim Iqbal on 1,556.
The match turned out to be a rehearsal for Tuesday’s final in Dhaka after the early elimination of Zimbabwe, the tournament’s third team.
Shakib’s decision to bowl first paid off as Afghanistan was restricted to 138-7. Shakib then led his team to victory, helping Bangladesh reach 139-6 in 19 overs.
With Bangladesh reeling at 12-2, Shakib and Mushfiqur Rahim combined for a 58-run stand for the third wicket.
But the skipper saw wickets fall around him with Bangladesh at 104-6 in the 16th over after the dismissal of Rahim (26). Mosaddek Hossain (19 not out) supported Shakib in taking Bangladesh home.
Shakib (1-24) is also the highest wicket-taker for Bangladesh in this format with 92 wickets.
Occasional off-spinner Afif Hossain took 2-9 in three overs for Bangladesh.
Afghanistan’s Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (29) shared 75 off 57 balls for the opening stand before Afif dealt a double blow in his first over. Afif dismissed Zazai for 47 and Asghar Afghan for a duck.
Earlier, Afif swung the momentum Bangladesh's way with his double strike in the 10th over of Afghanistan's innings after Hazratullah Zazai made 47 runs off 35 balls, putting on 75 runs with Rahmanullah Gurbaz in the opening stand.
A wicket apiece for Mohammad Saifuddin, Shafiul Islam, Shakib and Mustafizur Rahman left Afghanistan in disarray before Shafiqullah's 23 off 17 balls gave them a glimmer of hope.
Afghanistan and Bangladesh had already qualified for Tuesday's final in Dhaka after winning two of their previous three matches in a competition that also featured Zimbabwe.