Afghanistan beats Bangladesh by 8 wickets to draw T20 series

DHAKA (AP): Opener Hazratullah Zazai hit a half-century as Afghanistan beat Bangladesh by eight wickets in the second and final cricket Twenty20 to draw the series 1-1 on Saturday.

Zazai struck an unbeaten 59 runs off 45 balls and shared a 99-run partnership with Usman Ghani for the second wicket to help Afghanistan race to victory with 14 balls to spare. Darwish Rasooli (9 not out) wrapped up the game, pulling left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed for a six over deep mid-wicket as Afghanistan finished on 121-2 in reply to Bangladesh’s 115-9.

“We made a few mistakes in our batting in the first game, but we learned from those mistakes in the second game,” Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi said. “When we realized that the pitch isn’t that good for batting, we made the plan to restrict them to a lower total.” Afghanistan lost the first match by 61 runs.

Both teams lined up before the start of play and observed a minute’s silence in memory of Shane Warne and Rod Marsh. Ghani, who survived twice on 39 and 41, scored 47 runs off 48 balls with five fours and one six. Zazai and Ghani’s match-defining partnership came after Afghanistan lost Rahmanullah Gurbaz (3).