Ibrahim-Afghan century stand deflates Bangladesh

Bangladesh’s comeback hopes were short-lived at Chattogram in the one-off Test as Afghanistan recovered on the back of a century partnership between Ibrahim Zadran and Asghar Afghan to take complete control of the game. With Shakib Al Hasan striking twice in the very first over after his side conceded a 137-run first-innings lead and Nayeem Hasan striking before lunch, the hosts had entertained hopes of keeping Afghanistan to a low total.

Ibrahim and Afghan though had other plans as they thwarted the Bangladesh attack and continued to pile on the runs. Afghan, who had missed a ton in the first innings, took an aggressive approach quite early in the session slogsweeping Nayeem for a boundary. In the following over, Ibrahim then punished a couple of short deliveries from Shakib to grow in confidence. The Bangladesh skipper uncharacteristically continued to bowl short to the opener with the batsman making use of the freebies to collect a six and another four.

Ibrahim continued to wait for bad deliveries to take full toll and went past a deserving half-century. With the pitch also not playing a lot of tricks, Bangladesh struggled for answers with the lead continuing to mount. Ibrahim then beautifully lofted one over long off to bring up the century stand to go into the drinks break. The home team finally found some respite after Taijul Islam opened his account for the day. Afghan, shortly after reaching his half-century, inside-edged one to his pad with Shakib taking an easy catch at leg slip.

Ibrahim batted out the rest of the session to go into the break just 18 short of a century on debut. With the lead now 293, only one result looks likely at the moment.

Brief scores: Afghanistan 342 & 156/4 (Ibrahim Zadran 82*, Asghar Afghan 50; Shakib Al Hasan 2-51) lead Bangladesh 205 (Mominul Haque 52, Mosaddek Hossain 48*; Rashid Khan 5-55, Mohammad Nabi 3-56) by 293 runs