Rahmatullah Gurbaz and Rashid Khan starred as Afghanistan defeated Bangladesh by seven wickets in the third one-day international to avoid a whitewash in the three-match series on Monday. Gurbaz hit an unbeaten 106 off 110 balls to power Afghanistan to 193-3 in 40.1 overs after Rashid’s 3-37 helped the visitors bowl out Bangladesh for 192 runs in 46.5 overs at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. “I am proud of the way the team came to the ground today with their heads up,” Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi said in Chittagong. Gurbaz and Riaz Hassan put on 79 runs in the opening stand. Shakib Al Hasan dismissed Riaz for 35 but Gurbaz never allowed Bangladeshi bowlers to create momentum.
He struck seven fours and four sixes and added exactly 100 with Rahmat Shah for the second wicket to take Afghanistan close. Mehidy Hasan stumped Rahmat for 47 to break the stand and trapped Shahidi’s leg before for two next over but they came too late, with Afghanistan just a few runs away from the win. It was Gurbaz’s third hundred in only nine ODIs off 103 balls. “I had some injury in the last game but I was completely fine today. We lost the series, but it was a strong comeback,” said player-of-the-match Gurbaz. Earlier opener Liton Das earlier top-scored with 86 for Bangladesh after skipper Tamim Iqbal won the toss and elected to bat first.
Fazalhaq Farooqi bowled skipper Tamim Iqbal for 11 to end a 43-run opening stand before Shakib Ali Hasan and Liton added 61 for the second wicket. Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz struck a brilliant 106 not out as Afghanistan avoided a clean sweep by sealing a seven-wicket win against Bangladesh in the third one-day international on Monday. Apart from a consolation victory in the three-match series, the result also gave the Afghans a valuable 10 Super League points. Legspinner Rashid Khan claimed 3-37 as Bangladesh was dismissed for 192 in 46.5 overs. Gurbaz, who has now converted all three of his half-centuries to centuries in just nine matches, then helped Afghanistan race to the victory with 59 balls remaining.
Rahmat Shah scored 47 and opener Riaz Hasan added 35. Gurbaz struck seven fours and four sixes for his 110-ball 106 not out and shared two important partnerships to edge the side closer to victory. He and Riaz gave Afghanistan a solid start, combining for a 79-run opening stand before left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan had the latter stumped to breakthrough. Gurbaz then added another 100 with Rahmat Shah for the second wicket. Offspinner Mehidy Hasan struck twice, dismissing Shah to end the partnership, and then took the wicket of Afghan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi.
Gurbaz brought up his century off 103 balls, pushing pacer Mustafizur Rahman through cover for doubles and soon after that fittingly finished the game with a single off Mehidy towards square leg. Fresh from his 136 in the second game, opener Liton Das made 86 to be the top scorer for Bangladesh. Shakib scored 30 and Mahmudullah was not out on 29. Shakib dragged one onto his stumps off Azmatullah Omarzai to depart for 30 before Rashid derailed the home side with the wickets of Mushfiqur Rahim (seven) and Yasir Ali (one) in successive overs. Mohammad Nabi, who also claimed 2-29, ended Liton’s innings as Gulbadin Naib took a fine catch at long-on.
In-form Liton’s fourth ODI fifty — smashing seven boundaries in a 113-ball knock — came after he scored a century in the previous match. “We played well in the middle, but lost rhythm towards the end,” said Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal. Bangladesh won the first two matches of the series respectively by four wickets and 88 runs. The visitors will now play two Twenty20 internationals against Bangladesh on March 3 and 5 at Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.