Spinner Rashid Khan celebrated his 20th birthday in style by producing a stunning all-round display as Afghanistan beat Bangladesh by 136 runs in an Asia Cup match here on Thursday.
Rashid smashed an unbeaten 57 off just 32 balls in a superb counter-attacking batting display to take Afghanistan to a competitive 255 for 7 after opting to bat. He and Gulbadin Naib (42 not out) stitched 95 runs for the unconquered eighth wicket as they rained boundaries towards the end of their innings.
On the back of their late batting pyrotechnics, Afghanistan scored 97 runs from the final 10 overs and that made the difference in the fate of the match which, however, was rendered inconsequential as both sides have already made it to the Super Four stage from Group B. Later, Rashid showed why he is considered a premier leg spinner in the world by taking two crucial wickets, that of Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah, the two most experienced players in the Bangladesh side in the absence of the likes of previous match centurion Mushfiqur Rahim.
Shakib Al Hasan (32) and Mahmudullah (27) were the top-scorers for Bangladesh and Rashid claimed their wickets with two gems of deliveries to break the backbone of their run chase. Bangladesh eventually were all out for just 119 in 42.1 overs. Afghanistan will enter the Super Four stage with confidence after having won both their group matches. They play Pakistan in the same venue on Friday.
Twitter hailed Rashid Khan's brilliant performance.
Bowling, fielding certainly and even when batting, young Rashid Khan is a marvellous cricketer. Among the most exciting in the world
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) September 20, 2018
Not just the top T20 bowler but now laying claim to being called an all-rounder. Way to go, young man @rashidkhan_19
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 20, 2018
it was Inzamam as @ACBofficials coach in 2015 who picked @rashidkhan_19 . Selectors discarded & given Inzi a Rashid-less squad for Zim tour. Inzi (who had also played Rashid in nets) refused 2 agree & persisted them to have him. thats how his journey started. #AsiaCup2018 #BANvAFG
— Umar Farooq Kalson (@kalson) September 20, 2018
Rashid Khan is first player in ODI history to score 50 and take 2 wickets on his birthday. #AsiaCup2108
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) September 20, 2018
The way he is going, @rashidkhan_19 can become the Imran Khan of Afghanistan in future. #YouKnowWhatIMean
— Madhav Sharma (@HashTagCricket) September 20, 2018
Happy Birthday @rashidkhan_19
What a half century that, amazing batting on a memorable day.
God bless, keep working hard. You have more success to achieve. #Aisacup pic.twitter.com/D4CLMXAKaR
— Yusuf Pathan (@iamyusufpathan) September 20, 2018
Rashid Khan will be Afghanistan President one day, won't he? #AsiaCup
— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) September 20, 2018
Rashid Khan will have his task cut out in the Super 4 stages where Afghanistan will play against fancied teams like Pakistan and India. If Khan can ensure that the war-ravaged country can even enter the final, it will be no less than a fairytale. And lifting the Asia Cup will be the perfect icing to the cake. The Afghan players have defied all odds and predictions so far and clearly sky is the limit for them. In Rashid Khan, they have a true global star, capable of changing matches on his own. Just 20 years old, Khan is set to dominate the world stage for years and likely to get massive cult status by the time he hangs up his boots.
With PTI inputs
Article Type: Report Sections: Cricket Sports Authors: DNA Web Team Agencies: DNA webdesk Tags: Rashid Khan Bangladesh Mahmudullah Pakistan Shakib Al Hasan Harsha Bhogle Imran Khan Madhav Sharma Mushfiqur Rahim Yusuf Pathan Asia Cup Fri, 21 Sep 2018-09:55am Date updated: Friday, 21 September 2018 - 9:55am Article Images:
Short URL: dnai.in/fFuy Embargo: Syndicate: Hide lead image: Page views: 69 Related Articles: 'Rashid Khan can become Imran Khan of Afghanistan': Twitter hails birthday boy's performance against Bangladesh From Print Edition: Highlights: