A Bangladesh defeat looked inevitable.after a late surge from the Afghanistan batsmen had seen them post 167 runs on the board in the first of three T20Is here in Dehradun. 12 of the 20 overs of the Bangla chase were to be bowled by three of the best spinners in the business, and on a track best suited for their trickeries.
The trio of Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Nabi and the man of the hour Rashid Khan had their plans in place. The former, who might've taken out a leaf or two from his Kings XI Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin's book on how to control the new ball, was at it from the word go.
Opener Tamim Iqbal fell prey to Mujeeb on the very first ball of the chase. The 17-year-old's next five deliveries cost just the solitary run and the following six cost five more - the youngster's job was done. He had built a platform for both of his senior teammates, who then launched themselves into the Bangladesh batting line-up and tore through them.
Nabi, the seniormost of the trio, bagged the second and third Bangla wicket - that of skipper Shakib Al Hasan and Liton Das, who was gradually upping the ante. The 33-year-old controlled the middle overs perfectly, allowing Rashid to blow the opposition away in the second half of the chase.
The packed Rajiv Gandhi Stadium was reverberating with chants of 'Rashid Rashid' as the leg-spinner came on to bowl and two wickets on his first two deliveries sent the Dehradun crowd into a frenzy. Rashid had done what he does best - torment the opposition and force them into submission.
The combination of two finger-spinners and a wrist-spinner was too hot to handle for the Bangladeshis as the trio picked six of the ten Bangla wickets. The leggie, who is probably the best spinner in the sport right now, was deservedly named player of the match for his spell of 3-013-3.
"We just back up each other. Nabi is a senior player and he always supports me and Mujeeb, sharing his experiences with us. I think that's helping us a lot. He is always there. We always try to share our knowledge and experience with each other. Mujeeb has been excellent for the national team as well as in the IPL. He has a lot of skill and he will certainly do well in the future," Rashid said of the Afghan spin trio after they took their team home with a thumping 45-run win.