Probuddha Bhattacharjee ∙ Aug 31 2022, 3:30 AM

Asia Cup 2022: Statistical look into Afghanistan's masterclass vs Bangladesh


image-l7grar4zNajibullah Zadran smoked the bowlers around the park (PC: Twitter)

Afghanistan put on an impressive show once again in their second outing of the ongoing Asia Cup 2022 against Bangladesh. 

Bangladesh won the toss and decided to bat first. Be it poor batting or disciplined bowling from Afghanistan, the 'Bangla Tigers' failed to justify their decision. 

First, it was Mujeeb ur Rahman who started dismantling the Bangladeshi top order and Rashid Khan soon followed suit as he scrambled the middle order. The two spinners shared 8 overs between them, in which they conceded 38 runs and picked up 6 wickets. 

Let us take a look at the line and lengths the two spinners bowled in the match. 

image-l7gnujvu

Now let us look at the variations used by the two spinners.

image-l7go1o2yRashid and Mujeeb's variation in the match


Observation

The line and length along with the variations make it clear that the two Afghan spinners attacked the stumps. Even 50% of the carrom balls bowled by Mujeeb ur Rahman were to the left-handers. Which means that the ball was coming into the batter. It was a carrom ball delivery that earned him the wicket of Mohammad Naim.

So, the plan by the Afghan spinners was simple - keep it straight and attack the stumps.

Najibullah Zadran, the Game Changer

Najibullah came into bat when the team's score was 62 for 3. They needed 69 runs off 42 deliveries the required run rate being 9.85. On a pitch that was apparently slowing down, the task was not easy. But Zadran not only understood the situation perfectly but also understood which bowlers to attack and what shots to play. Let us look at the efficiency of the shots that he played. 

image-l7gph5exNajibullah Zadran's most efficient shots

Let's also take a look at the most productive scoring areas for Najibullah.

image-l7gpqx39Projecting Najibullah Zadran as a right-hander

Observation

Unlike the Bangladeshi batters, Najibullah Zadran played most of his shots straight. The best part of his innings was selecting shots as per the merit of the ball. Instead of going across the ball, he looked to hit straight most of the time, and that helped him during his stay. It was a brilliant innings under pressure, to say the least. 


Also Read: AFG vs BAN: Mujeeb and Najibullah power Afghanistan to a thumping victory