Bangladesh and Afghanistan shared the Twenty20 tri-series trophy after persistent rain washed out the final in Mirpur. (Image credit: Twitter)
The tri-series Twenty20 final between Afghanistan and Bangladesh had the potential to become a good contest. Bangladesh had built up momentum by winning three consecutive games on the trot while Afghanistan suffered two back-to-back losses, including their first loss to Zimbabwe. However, the final in Mirpur proved to be a damp squib with rain forcing the match to be abandoned without a toss. Consistent rain at Mirpur meant the covers were firmly in place and the groundstaff could not conduct the clean-up operations. The decision to abandon the match was taken by the umpires at 9:00 PM local time and both teams ended up sharing the trophy.
Since there was no reserve day for the final, both Afghanistan and Bangladesh ended up sharing the trophy. However, Bangladesh still managed to create a slice of history. This was the first time that Bangladesh had secured a Twenty20 trophy which involved more than two teams. In the 2018 Nidahas Trophy tri-series which involved Sri Lanka and India, Bangladesh had reached the final and they were almost close to sealing the trophy but Dinesh Karthik's last-ball six off Soumya Sarkar gave India an unlikely win and broke Bangladesh's heart.
Speaking after the end of the game, both Bangladesh and Afghanistan skippers expressed their bittersweet feelings. "We targeted the Test game, we are famous in T20's but the target of board is to do well in Test matches. So, the Test match victory was very pleasing. We are leaving tonight from Bangladesh," Rashid Khan said. Shakib added, "We didn't play our best cricket in this tournament but leading upto the final, we played some good cricket. I will get some match time before the India series," Shakib said.
This was the first abandoned Twenty20 game in Bangladesh while it was the 29th overall in this format. The first abandoned game was between England and South Africa in 2008 at Chester-le-Street, Durham. The first abandoned game in the sub-continent was the India vs New Zealand encounter at Vizag in 2012 where persistent rain forced the match to be abandoned without a toss in what could have been Yuvraj Singh's comeback after battling cancer.
The Hong Kong Cricket Team have the most number of abandoned games in this format with seven while among the Test-playing nations, South Africa have seen six of their games abandoned including two against India in Kolkata 2015 and Dharamshala 2019.
Bangladesh's next major assignment will be a full tour to India for two Tests and three Twenty20 Internationals. The series begins on November 3 at the Arun Jaitley stadium in New Delhi and it will end with the second Test at Eden Gardens. The two Tests will be part of the World Test Championship.