Everyone thinks highly of Afghanistan when it comes to cricket. Listening to Indian and Pakistani cricket commentators, it would seem that they are one of the top teams playing. Why is there so much love from both Pakistan and India for Afghanistan who btw hate each other to death? Is it a cultural issue? It is true that the three share a great deal of past history. All three have a considerable amount of invader genes inside them. Basically, once the kingly class, the upper class, call them what you will.

Pakistan and India both are ruled by North Indians and their mutual hatred is partly defined by their rivalry within a shared culture. And a great deal of North India is shared with Central Asia. Even the term "Iranian Non Farmer" group, which is supposedly the genetic mother breeder of Indians/Pakistanis of the region is located there. So isn't it how it should be among blood brothers? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peopling_of_India#:~:text=Those%20Iranian%20farmers%2Drelated%20people,advent%20of%20the%20mature%20IVC.)

Meanwhile, Bengal was always short of Brahmins/upper class and Bengalis are brown and black, farmers and fishermen - peasants not royalty. This discussion is in Nirod Chowdhury's "Hinduism" book and not my thoughts. So the historical significance of one of the more one-sided boring cricket tests ever which we won and got a big bite of history was really big. We proved that we can win against the smaller of the three cricket powers whose ancestors ruled over us. As if that matters.

A brief history of the Afghan -Bangladesh Tests

The result of the game is known to everyone, so I won't talk much about it. But in the last Test played between the two countries 4 years ago, Bangladesh lost. The game was played in Chittagong from September 5 to 9. Afghanistan won by 224 runs. They scored 342 in the first innings and Bangladesh scored 205. They were 260 in the second innings and BD responded with 173. Afghanistan didn't make a huge score but Bangladesh's total was sort of Lilliputian in comparison given the need and circumstances. Though old news, I still wanted to add some weeping emojis to the paragraph.

In the first innings of that match, Afghanistan's Rahmat Shah scored 102 and Asghar Afghan took 92 runshome. Their talismanic captain and iconic star Rashid Khan scored 51. Taijul took 4 wickets, Shakib and Naeem took two each.

In the second innings (260 runs), Afghan batter Ibrahim Zadran scored 87, Asghar Afghan 50, Afsar Zazai 48. Shakib took 3 wickets, Miraz, Taijul, Naeem took two each. Not a great cricket match really. The kind of match you go to watch because your team is playing.

But the target set for Bangladesh was 398. And Bangladeshi true to their character did not stumble while chasing but quite simply collapsed and fell down. Captain Shakib scored 44 and Sadman 41 but the rest together couldn't teach 100.

The credit for this whacking victory over Bangladesh belonged to the Afghan captain Rashid Khan. 5 wickets in the first and 6 wickets for 49 runs in the second, a total of 11 wickets. Who else could be the man of the match?

The Great but boring Test match we won

In testy matches, If nothing unexpected happens later, runs on the first day or innings will greatly decide the outcome of the game. Bangladesh was very strong on the first day though on the second day lost 5 wickets for just 9 runs. If the score was not 300 +, there would have been murmurs of fear. It is clear that we are still not a strong and consistent team given the way we ended our innings.

Bangladesh couldn't cross 400, largely because Afghan debutant Nijat Masood took 5 wickets for 79 runs wrecking BD's fancy super score dreams. But then when their chances came, no one thought that Afghanistan would score only 146. The veteran Afsar Jazai -plated in the 2019 win scored 36 and Nasir Jama 35.The rest batted but did not increase the runs, Ebadot's4 /47 and Taijul 2/7 was strong but not spectacular. In fact, Afghans played so badly that Bangladeshi quickies seem to deserve a better set of opponents to bowl at.

The second innings and the records

Was 425/4 needed in the second innings to set a target for Afghanistan? By the time the Bangladeshscore crossed 200/300 400 /500/and finally 600 runs, it was a dead matchin the crudest sense. Shanto'scentury in two innings was applauded by everyone, especially Moninul who did it himself in 2018 against Sri Lanka I (176and 105) in Chittagong.

His century was more significant because he also played in the losing test in 2019. This win and century was sweet tasting for him. When the target was almost 650 runs, the Afghans were asked to chase. Let's chase is fine to say but soon the game the fun and the chase was over. With a 115-run innings, it wasn't cricket anymore. Taskin took 4 wickets though his failure to get the fifth in the last over was more dramatic than the match at that point of time.

It was the 3rd largest all-time margin of victory at 546 runs. The first was in 1928 when England beat Australia by 675 runs in Brisbane. The second was Australia beating England by 562 runs at the Oval. But as with all big wins, there was no excitement, thrill. It can be called a dead game.

But what a record. Congrats Bangladesh.

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