After Najmul Hossain and Mominul Haque scored centuries for Bangladesh, Afghanistan found themselves trailing by a massive 616 runs at stumps.
Bangladesh declared their second innings at 425-4, setting themselves up for potentially one of cricket’s largest Test victory margins when play resumes. However, with two full days remaining in the Test, the chances of Afghanistan salvaging a positive result became increasingly slim.
Afghanistan’s innings got off to a disastrous start as opener Ibrahim Zadran was dismissed for a duck by Shoriful Islam off the first ball.
Soon after, Taskin Ahmed removed Abdul Malik for five, leaving Afghanistan at a precarious 7-2. The situation worsened when skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi was forced to retire hurt after being struck by a bouncer.
At stumps, Afghanistan stood at 45 runs for the loss of two wickets, with Rahmat Shah (10) and Nasir Jamal (5) at the crease. However, bad light brought an end to the day’s play.
Najmul became only the second Bangladeshi player to score centuries in both innings of a Test match, following his first-innings score of 146 with 124 in the second innings.
Mominul, the other player to achieve this feat for Bangladesh, remained unbeaten on 121 alongside captain Liton Das, who scored 66, when the declaration was made.
Mominul’s century was his 12th in Test cricket, the highest number by any Bangladeshi player. His innings included 12 fours and a six off 145 balls, contributing significantly to Bangladesh’s dominant position in the match.
Afghanistan toiled but could only take three wickets through the day, including two in the same over off leg-spinner Zahir Khan.
Zahir ended the prolific innings of Najmul, who gave a catch to Abdul Malik at short midwicket, ending a 151-ball knock with 15 boundaries.
Mushfiqur Rahim hit a six soon after coming to the crease but an attempted reverse sweep on the next ball brought his downfall for eight as Ibrahim Zadran took the catch at slip.
Mominul and Liton then frustrated Afghanistan with an unbroken 143-run fifth-wicket stand.
Resuming at 134-1 overnight, Najmul and Zakir Hasan batted with confidence before Afghanistan got an unexpected breakthrough against the run of play.
The duo made 173 runs before Zakir was run out for 71.
An edge from Najmul’s bat raced to the boundary line, where Nasir Jamal stopped the ball and relayed it to Ibrahim.
Ibrahim’s direct hit found Zakir well short while running for his third, ending their free-flowing partnership.
Zakir scored his second 50 in just his third Test.
Bangladesh scored 382 runs in the first innings and bowled out Afghanistan for 146.
Afghanistan won the only other Test between the two teams when they beat Bangladesh by 224 runs at Chittagong in 2019.
(With AFP inputs)