New Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan claimed career-best figures of 6-59 amid the threat of rain to seal a historic 224-run win over Bangladesh in their one-off Test in Chattogram.
The six-for in the second innings, Khan’s third five-for or more in a row, took him to 11-104 in the match, alongside scoring 51 runs in the first innings.
In doing so, he joined Pakistan’s Imran Khan and Australia’s Alan Border as the only men to have scored a half-century and taken 10 wickets on their debut as Test captain.
He had already become Test cricket’s youngest ever captain at the age of 20 years 350 days, breaking the record held by Zimbabwe’s Tatenda Taibu, who made his debut as Test captain just eight days older than Rashid in 2004.
Left-arm spinner Zahir Khan complemented Rashid’s performance on Monday with figures of 3-59.
A shower on the morning of the fifth day forced a delayed start with Afghanistan four wickets from victory. When play finally started, it lasted only seven minutes and 13 balls before more rain fell, with Bangladesh at 6-146.
Afghanistan got the prized wicket of Shakib Al Hasan (44) on the first ball after the resumption, when the Bangladesh captain played an expensive cut shot against left-arm spinner Zahir.
Rashid’s relentless attacking bowling then had Mehidy Hasan (12) and Taijul Islam (0) flummoxed by googlies before the captain then got the last recognised batsman, Soumya Sarkar, who spooned a catch to short-leg for 15.
“Credit goes to the batsmen who batted so well in the first innings and the youngsters for the way they bowled. The youngsters are applying their plans and learning from their mistakes,” Rashid said.
“The four-day structure back home is helping the players. We had the best preparation for this game, and it was challenging for the batsmen. They applied themselves.”
After getting Test status last year, Afghanistan lost its first match to India before beating Ireland by seven wickets earlier this year.
Rahmat Shah became the first Afghan batsman to hit century in Test cricket as Afghanistan racked up 342 in the first innings.
It was a disappointing result for Bangladesh, who made their debut in the format way back in 2000.
“It’s combination of both, (lack of) application of our batsmen and Afghanistan also bowled really well,” their skipper and batting mainstay Shakib said.
“All credit goes to Afghanistan but at the same time we also have to do a lot of hard work. After playing for 20 years, we cannot say it’s a build-up process. We need to forget this match as soon as possible and focus on the T20 series.”
Afghanistan will head to Australia for a Test match for the first time in November next year.