Opener Liton Das top-scored with 35 as Bangladesh defeated Afghanistan by six wickets in the second Twenty20 international to take the two-match series 2-0 on Sunday. Liton laid the foundation for the win with a 67-run opening stand with Afif Hossain (24) as Bangladesh raced to 119-4 in 16.1 overs after Taskin Ahmed’s 3-33 helped the side restrict Afghanistan to 116-7 in a rain-reduced 17 overs. Bangladesh won the opening match of the series by two wickets on Friday, and Sunday’s follow-up — both of them in the northeastern city of Sylhet — earned them their third consecutive T20 series win, and their first against Afghanistan in three attempts.
They defeated world champions England 3-0 and Scotland 2-1 earlier this year.
Off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman gave Afghanistan a lifeline to save the series by removing Liton and Afif in the space of three balls after their solid stand before Azmatullah Omarzai bowled Najmul Hossain for four.
But skipper Shakib Al Hasan and young Towhid Hridoy forged a 31-run stand for the fourth wicket to prevent further collapse.
“We lost couple of wickets, but given the start we had, we were always ahead,” Shakib said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“Given the ground conditions, I knew their spinners would have it tough.”
Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan refused to make any excuses.
“Weather is not an excuse for a team. T20 should be decided on skills and we were not good enough there, especially in batting,” he said.
Omarzai dismissed Towhid for 19 before finishing with 2-17 but Shakib, with his unbeaten 18, took Bangladesh home.
Shakib also played a hand with the ball to claim 2-15, and Mustafizur Rahman claimed 2-30 as Bangladesh, electing to bowl first, made Afghanistan struggle.
Rain halted play for one-and-a-half hours after just seven overs, prompting the match officials to reduce the contest to 17 overs per side.
Afghanistan were already struggling, losing both openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (eight) and Hazratullah Zazai (four) to Taskin with 16 runs on the board.
Mustafizur removed Mohammad Nabi for 16 after play resumed, and in the next over Shakib dismissed both Ibrahim Zadran (22) and Najibullah Zadran, reducing Afghanistan to 67-5.
But Omarzai and Karim Janat put on 42 runs for the sixth wicket to revive the innings.
Mustafizur ended Omarzai’s 21-ball knock of 25 forcing him to give Shamim Hossain a catch at deep third man.
Janat was out to Taskin in the final over for 22.
Bangladesh won the one-off Test match by a record 546 runs while Afghanistan won the three-match one-day international series 2-1.
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