NEW DELHI: An all-round Pakistan team outclassed Bangladesh to register a comprehensive seven-wicket victory in the first match of the Asia Cup Super Fours stage at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Wednesday.
First it was Pakistan’s famed pace trio who blew away Bangladesh’s batting line-up after they opted to bat first. Despite a valiant 100-run stand for the fifth wicket between skipper Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh were bundled out for a below-par 193 in 38.4 overs.
As it happened: Pakistan vs Bangladesh
Chasing a small target, Pakistan batters started their innings steadily and did not allow early breakthroughs to the Bangladesh pacers, who bowled quite brilliantly. Without much scoreboard pressure,
hit half-centuries and took Pakistan home in just 39.3 overs, finishing at 194 for 3, and gave their team a winning start in the Super Fours stage.
Here’s how Pakistan tamed Bangladesh in Lahore:
A horrid start for Bangladesh
Pakistan’s pace trio was too hot to handle for the Bangladesh top-order as the visitors lost four wickets for just 47 runs inside 10 overs. Shaheen Shah Afridi started the proceedings with a maiden over, before Naseem Shah struck first ball in the next over to remove Bangladesh opener Mehidy Hasan Miraz. Mohammad Naim (20 off 25) and Litton Das (16 off 13) steadied their innings with a quick 31-run stand, before the latter became Afridi’s victim in the fifth over. Then
came into the attack and dismissed Naim and Towhid Hridoy in quick time to reduce Bangladesh to 47/4 in 9.1 overs.
Skipper Shakib Al Hasan and wicketkeeper-batter Mushfiqur Rahim steadied their innings and added a valuable 100 runs for the fifth wicket to resurrect the Bangladesh innings. The two senior batters took their time and batted for a good 20 overs together to take Bangladesh to 147/4 in 29 overs. Faheem Ashraf provided the crucial breakthrough for Pakistan with the first delivery of the 30th over by removing Shakib, who scored 53 off 57 balls with the help of seven fours. Rahim top-scored for the visitors with a handy 64 off 87 balls, which included five fours.
Spinner Iftikhar Ahmed triggered Bangladesh’s middle and lower-order batting collapse after the fall of Shakib by dismissing Shamim Hossain (16) in the 35th over. Bangladesh were struggling at 174/6 in 34.4 overs, when Pakistan captain
brought back his pace attack. Haris Rauf (4/19 in 6 overs) came back and struck twice in two balls to dismiss set Rahim and Taskin Ahmed in the 38th over. Naseem Shah then wrapped up the final two wickets in the 39th over to bundle out Bangladesh for 193 in 38.4 overs. Bangladesh lost their last four wickets for just 19 runs in four overs.
Steady start for Pakistan
Chasing a below-par 194 target, Pakistan got off to a steady and watchful start to their run chase. Openers Fakhar Zaman (20) and Imam-ul-Haq slowly added 35 runs in nine overs, before the former was trapped LBW by Shoriful Islam in the 10th over. Imam and skipper Babar Azam (17) then increased the scoring rate a little bit with their 39-run second wicket partnership, from 6.2 overs, before the latter was clean bowled by Taskin Ahmed in the 16th over.
Imam, Rizwan hit fifties to take Pak home
Opener Imam-ul-Haq kept one end intact for the hosts and hit his 19th ODI half-century to keep Pakistan on course of the run chase. Imam got an able partner in wicketkeeper batter Mohammad Rizwan (63 not out) and the duo added a match-winning 85 runs for the third wicket. Imam top-scored for Pakistan, scoring 78 off 84 balls which included four maximums and five fours. When Imam fell in the 33rd over, Pakistan were well placed at 159/3. Rizwan then brought up his 11th ODI fifty and along with Agha Salman (12 not out) took Pakistan home with 63 balls to spare, achieving the target in just 39.3 overs with seven wickets in hand.