Shoriful Islam breathed fire in the third ODI against Afghanistan at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury (ZACS) stadium on Tuesday. Thanks to his career-best four for 21, Bangladesh avoided whitewash and keep their seventh position in the ICC ODI rankings as they won the match by seven wickets.
The southpaw wreaked havoc on the Afghan batting order on Tuesday before the batters comfortably chased down a paltry target of 127 runs.
Mohammad Naim who got his chance in the opening spot due to Tamim saga, failed once again. He went for a duck playing eight deliveries. Najmul Hossain Shanto too didn't last long after his verbal fight with Fazalhaq Farooqi. He bagged 11 off 15 balls hitting two boundaries.
Chasing 127 did seem a little nervy at that point.
But skipper Litton Das along with Shakib Al Hasan stood strong. They both played comfortably in their 61-run stand which all but sealed the match for the hosts.
Litton was getting dismissed around 20s in his last few matches and he needed a big innings to regain his form. He guided the team home remaining unbeaten on 53 off 60 balls. This was his 10th half-century in ODIs. The skipper hit three boundaries and two maximums during his knock.
Shakib was the aggressor in the chase. He scored 39 off 39 balls and became the third Bangladeshi to reach 14000 runs in international cricket. His innings consisted of five boundaries.
Earlier, Bangladesh bundled Afghanistan for a paltry 126 runs after being asked to bowl first. This was Afghanistan's lowest score against Bangladesh in ODIs. Their previous lowest was 138 in 2016.
Shoriful broke the backbone of Afghanistan's batting early in the innings and the visitors never really recovered from that. He picked up back-to-back wickets in the third over of the innings sending Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah back to the pavilion in a similar style. They both were caught behind.
Taskin Ahmed chipped in with the wicket of Rahmanullah Gurbaz in the sixth over before Shoriful bagged another one to reduce Afghanistan to 15/4 inside the ninth over.
Shoriful and Taskin bowled 52 dot balls in the first powerplay, Bangladesh's joint-highest in ODIs.
Afghanistan's run rate remained 2-2.50 for the most part of the innings. Najibullah Zadran was the fifth batter to be dismissed in the 16th over becoming Shakib Al Hasan's first dismissal. Afghanistan lost half of their batting side for 32 but the lower order along with the tailenders scored some valuable runs to get the team beyond 100.
Afghan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi was bowled by Taijul Islam who also played his first match in the series. Taijul later picked up Zia-ur-Rehman's wicket after Shoriful bagged his fourth.
The tail bothered Bangladesh but Miraz and Taskin picked up the final two wickets in consecutive overs to eventually bowl the visitors out for 125.
Apart from Shoriful's four-for, Taskin and Taijul bagged a brace each. Shakib and Miraz picked up a wicket each.
Azmatullah Omarzai was the lone warrior for the Afghans with his half-century. He scored 56 off 71 balls before being dismissed as the last batter. He hit one boundary and three maximums. Skipper Shahidi bagged 22 while Mujeeb Ur Rahman added valuable 11 runs.
Shoriful was adjudged the player of the match while Farooqi bagged the player of the series award.