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Afif, Mehidy help Bangladesh sink Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: February 24, 2022)

Afif Hossain and Mehidy Hasan shared a record 174-run seventh-wicket stand as Bangladesh recovered from a top-order collapse to beat Afghanistan by four wickets in the first one-day international of a three-match series in Chittagong on Wednesday.

Afif hit an unbeaten 93 off 115 balls while Mehidy added 81 not out, helping Bangladesh reach 219-6 in 48.5 overs, after Afghanistan left-arm pace bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi’s opening-spell burst reduced the hosts to 18-4 inside five overs, AFP reported.

Spinners Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan took one wicket apiece to leave Bangladesh struggling at 45-6 before Afif and Mehidy turned the tide.

Earlier Mustafizur Rahman took 3-35 with Shoriful Islam (2-38), Shakib Al Hasan (2-50) and Taskin Ahmed (2-55) all making an impact as Bangladesh bowled out Afghanistan for 215 runs.

Despite the modest target, Bangladesh were in all sorts of trouble when Farooqi dismissed openers Tamim Iqbal (eight) and Liton Das (one) in the third over before nabbing Mushfiqur Rahim (three) and debutant Yasir Ali (zero) in the next.

Things turned worse for Bangladesh after Shakib Al Hasan dragged onto his stumps off Mujeeb Ur Rahman to depart for 10 and Rashid dismissed Mahmudullah for eight to leave Bangladesh in a precarious situation.

But Afif, who hit 11 fours and a six in his career-best knock, and Mehidy ensured there was no further damage, AFP reported.

Mehidy struck nine fours in his third ODI fifty, also his personal best innings, which came off 120 balls.

Their partnership surpassed Imrul Kayes and Mohammad Saifuddin’s 127 seventh-wicket record for Bangladesh, set against Zimbabwe in 2018.

“The way the youngsters played, unbelievable, (I am) very happy and proud,” said Bangladesh skipper Tamim.

“Afghanistan have a great spin attack and the way these two handled (them) was amazing.”

Farooqi, the most successful Afghanistan bowler, finished with 4-54 playing only his second ODI.

“Farooqi bowled well at the top. But I will give credit to their batsmen,” said Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi.

Afghanistan earlier lost regular wickets after they elected to bat first before Najibullah Zadran hit 67 runs to give their innings some respectability.

Rahmat Shah (34), skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi (28) and Mohammad Nabi (20) got starts but could not convert them into a big score.

Zadran put on 63 runs with Nabi for the fifth wicket to help Afghanistan recover from 102-4.

Shoriful ended Zadran’s patient 84-ball knock in the penultimate over as Mahmudullah Riyad took the catch at long-on, AFP reported.

Mustafizur wrapped up Afghanistan’s innings three balls later – in 49.1 overs – with the wicket of Yamin Ahmadzai.

The second match of the series is due to be held at the same ground on Friday.

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Ireland beat Afghanistan by seven wickets in first T20I match of series

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(Last Updated On: August 10, 2022)

Ireland beat Afghanistan by seven wickets in the first of five matches in the T20 International in Belfast on Tuesday.

George Dockrell hit the winning boundary off the penultimate ball to lift Ireland on to 171 for three after they were set a target of 169.

Afghanistan’s total of 168 for seven had been boosted by 30 runs off the final two overs, with Ibrahim Zadran clubbing 29 not out off 18 balls.

Afghanistan’s top scorer, opener Usman Ghani, struck two sixes and six fours in his 59 off 42 balls.

The two sides will meet again on Thursday at the same Civil Services Cricket Club venue in Stormont for the second time in their five-match series.

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Former international cricket umpire Koertzen dies in car accident

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(Last Updated On: August 9, 2022)

Rudi Koertzen, former international cricket umpire from South Africa, died on Tuesday in a car accident in the country, ESPNcricInfo reported citing his family.

“He went on a golf tournament with some of his friends, and they were expected to come back on Monday, but it seems they decided to play another round of golf,” his son Rudi Koertzen jr said.

Koertzen, 73, was on the International Cricket Council’s elite panel of umpires for eight years and officiated in 331 matches, a record at the time of his retirement in 2010 that has since been surpassed by Pakistan’s Aleem Dar.

“It is a very big loss, foremost for his family and then for South Africa and cricket,” Dar was quoted as saying by ESPNcricInfo.

“I stood in so many games with him. He was not only very good as an umpire but also an excellent colleague, always very cooperative on field and also always willing to help off the field.

“Because of the way he was, he was also well-respected by players.”

Koertzen died while driving from Cape Town to Despatch in Eastern Cape, where he lived with his family, ESPNcricInfo said.

Koertzen still umpired occasionally in amateur cricket in his hometown of Despatch in South Africa’s Eastern Cape.

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ACB names players for five-match T20I series against Ireland

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(Last Updated On: August 1, 2022)

The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) on Monday announced the 16-member squad for the five T20I matches against Ireland scheduled to take place this month.

All matches will take place in Ireland and start on August 9. The tournament will run through until August 17. 

According to the ACB, the team will leave for Ireland on Friday.

Mohammad Nabi will captain the team. The other players are as follows: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wicketkeeper), Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Darwish Rasooli, Karim Jannat, Afsar Zazai, Azmatullah Umarzai, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Rashid Khan, Noor Ahmad, Fazal Haq, Farid Malik, and Naveen ul Haq.

The reserves are Qais Ahmed, Usman Ghani, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Najat Masoud.

Noorul Haq Malikzi, the ACB’s head of the selection committee said: “We have selected a team for Ireland, which I am sure will have great achievements, because our priority is talent, young players, their performance and strength.”

The Afghanistan Cricket Board says that one of the goals of these competitions is to prepare for the Asia Cup and the World Cup, which will start in September and October respectively.

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