On the first day of the one-off Test in Dhaka on Wednesday, Najmul Hossain scored his third Test century as Bangladesh dominated hapless Afghanistan.
As part of his 212-run second-wicket partnership with Mahmudul Hasan, Najmul scored 146 off 175 balls and made his third Test fifty. With 11 overs left on the opening day, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mehidy Hasan Miraz were not out on 41.
At the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Afghanistan, without talismanic all-rounder Rashid Khan, were on the back foot for most of the day after electing to bowl first.
With 2-67, debutant medium pacer Nijat Masood removed Zakir Hasan for one in his first Test delivery.
After an initial decision of not out, the television umpire had to confirm Afsar Zazai’s sharp catch.
In response, Najmul Hossain and Mahmudul forged a strong partnership to take control of the proceedings and deny the visitors any further momentum.
Najmul hit back-to-back fours off Yamin Ahmadzai in his first over at bat and brought up his fifty off 58 balls with a boundary off leg-spinner Zahir.
Rahmat Shah broke their partnership when Mahumdul attempted a cut shot but edged a catch to Ibrahim Zadran.
Mahmudul hit nine boundaries in his sedate 137-ball innings.
After tea, Afghanistan enjoyed a brief success when Nijat dismissed Mominul Haque, caught behind down the leg side, for 15.
As Najmul attempted his third six of the innings, he heaved a catch to Nasir Jamal at deep midwicket off left-arm spinner Amir Hamza.
In his sizzling innings, the 24-year-old left-hander hit 23 fours.
After making nine runs, Liton Das poked Zahir to Ibrahim at slip.
With their unbroken 72-run sixth wicket stand, Mushfiqur and Mehidy halted further collapse and slowly reestablished Bangladesh’s authority.
In 2019, Afghanistan beat the home team by 224 runs at Chittagong in the only other Test between the two sides.
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