DHAKA: Left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed and batsman Liton Das helped Bangladesh halt an eight-match losing streak in Twenty20 internationals with a resounding 61-run win over Afghanistan in Dhaka on Thursday.
Nasum returned with career-best figures of 4 for 10 as Bangladesh bowled out Afghanistan for 94 runs in 17.4 overs after Liton's 60 off 44 balls guided the side to 155-8 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
The win ended Bangladesh's long streak of defeats in T20Is starting from the Twenty20 World Cup in Oman and the UAE last year and gave the side a 1-0 lead in a two-match series.
Nasum picked up four wickets in his only spell, opening the bowling for Bangladesh to give the hosts a firm grip on the game as they reduced Afghanistan to 20 for 4 inside five overs.
Najibullah Zadran and skipper Mohammad Nabi briefly stopped the rot with a 37-run fifth-wicket stand before Shakib Al Hasan dismissed both.
Zadran, dropped on four by wicketkeeper Liton, made 27 off 26 balls. Azmatullah Omarzai staged a late fightback to score 20 off 18 balls but it was not enough.
"Pleasing to see how the boys fought in the middle with the bat, ball. The energy was good too. We thought the total was defendable. Nasum bowled really well, it was a match-changing spell," said Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah Riyad.
Afghanistan's Nabi lamented the loss of early wickets.
"We thought we could chase it but threw away our wickets in the powerplay which cost us the game," he said.
Left-arm pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi and leg-spinner Rashid Khan struck early to reduce Bangladesh to 25 for 2 after Mahmudullah opted to bat first.
But Liton hit four fours and two sixes to ensure the home side made steady progress.
Afif Hossain made 25 off 24 balls and shared 46 runs with Liton for the fifth wicket.
Farooqi ended Liton's fine innings as Azmatullah took the catch at fine leg in the 17th over.
Farooqi and Azmatullah claimed 2-27 and 2-31 respectively for Afghanistan.
The second match of the series will be held at the same ground on Saturday.