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Liton, Rahim ease Bangladesh to 2-0 lead


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Bangladesh sealed a comfortable 88-run win over Afghanistan in the second ODI in Chattogram and clinched the three-match series 2-0. Set 306, Afghanistan made 218 after half-centuries from Najibullah Zadran and Rahmat Shah.

The win, however, was set up by Liton Das's fifth ODI ton and the 93-ball 86 from Mushfiqur Rahim. The pair shared a 202-run stand for the third wicket and ensured the bowlers couldn't quite land any punches. Even though Bangladesh scored just 34 in the last five overs, both Das and Rahim had done enough damage to bat the visitors out of the contest.

The margin, probably, is a fair reflection of the way the contest played out. Afghanistan were lackluster on the field - something that was on show as they took over four hours to bowl their 50 overs. Between missed stumping and run outs, and dropped catches, they lacked penetration and couldn't really trouble the Bangladesh pair.

Tamim Iqbal fell in the seventh over for 12 off 24 but Bangladesh moved forward with Shakib and Das making 45 for the second wicket. Rashid Khan had Shakib lbw in the 16th over but from there on the hosts took charge of the game and pinned Afghanistan on the mat.

Both Das and Rahim were keen not to give wickets to Rashid. They not only established that goal, they were also able to disrupt his rhythm with frequent boundaries as the legspinner ended with 10-0-54-1. After Shakib's dismissal, they played out three quiet overs but both Rahim and Das struck a boundary each against Rashid in the 20th to carry the side over 100. Another slow-moving period of three overs followed but Das again broke the shackles with twin boundaries against Rahmat Shah. Fazalhaq Farooqi, who dented Bangladesh early in the opening ODI, too was put under pressure.

Afghanistan lost an opportunity in the 38th over. Das struck Mujeeb ur Rahman straight to cover but was dropped by captain Hashmatullah Shahidi. Three overs later, Das cantered to his ton with a boundary against Rashid off 107 balls. He then upped the ante and struck Farooqi for a four and six in the 44th to ensure Afghanistan continued to feel the heat. Rahim too got lucky against Mujeeb and survived a stumping chance in the 42nd over. Fareed Ahmad dismissed Das and Rahim on consecutive deliveries to end their association before Mahmudullah took the side past 300 in the penultimate over.

Afghanistan's chase never really took off. Riaz Hassan, Shahidi and Azmatullah Omarzai were dismissed for single-digit scores as they were reduced to 34 for 3. Shah and Najibullah made 89 for the fourth wicket but that stand was broken by Taskin Ahmed as the pacer accounted for both the batters. Nabi made 32, Rashid struck 29 off 26 but Shakib and Taskin were able to keep things in check.

Brief scores: Bangladesh 306/4 in 50 overs (Liton Das 136, Mushfiqur Rahim 86; Fareed Ahmad 2-56) beat Afghanistan 218 in 45.1 overs (Najibullah Zadran 54; Taskin Ahmed 2-31) by 88 runs.

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