on 271/5, and Rahmat Shah was at the heart of the visitors' productive opening day as he
became his country's first ever Test centurion.
Rahmat hit 102 from 187 balls, striking 10 fours and two sixes as he achieved his
record-breaking feat. It seemed fitting that the right-hander reached the landmark before
anyone else; Rahmat struck 98 against Ireland in March, falling just short after being
bowled by Tim Murtagh. A second-innings 76 followed to grant him the Player-of-the-Match
award, but a three-figure score remained elusive.
He had to wait six months, in which time he was uniquley named and axed as Test skipper
without actually leading his side in a game, but Rahmat was able to write his name into the history books for the right reasons today.
He may yet be joined in the hundred club by Asghar Afghan, who finished the day unbeaten on 88 alongside Afsar Zazai, who battled his way to 35 not out. The pair put on 74 before stumps were called, an important stand that came after Bangladesh had struck twice in quick succession.
But the stand for the sixth wicket was simply building on the excellence of Rahmat. He arrived at the crease after Taijul Islam removed Ihsanullah in the 13th over, a beautiful ball from the left-arm spinner turning sharply to break through the defence of the right-hander. Ibrahim Zadran battled hard but then fell tamely, failing to get the right contact on an aerial shot down the ground, and Mahmudullah took a good catch at wide long-off, an ICC reportsaid.
Bangladesh continued to interrupt any budding partnerships, and after the dismissal of Hashmatullah Shahidi ? who edged to slip off Mahmudullah ? Afghanistan were 77/3.Asgharwas the perfect foil for Rahmat as the pair denied Bangladesh's spinners control, and together they put on 120. Rahmat's timing was impressive, particularly when Bangladesh's spinner's dropped shot, cutting and pulling away expertly.
He brought up his ton with a late cut but fell shortly after for 102, pushing forward to offeran edge to slip from the bowling of Nayeem Hasan. Mohammad Nabi was bowled without troubling the scorers but Asghar made sure to build on the platform he had set alongside Rahmat.
Asghar's innings thus far has included three fours and two sixes, and he will begin tomorrow 12 runs short of a maiden Test ton. (UNI)