Published: March 23, 2012
Pakistan won the Asia Cup defeating Bangladesh by 2 runs in the final match at Mirpur Thursday.
Chasing Pakistan’s 236 run, Bangladesh scored 234 runs losing eight wickets in the stipulated 50 overs.
A gloom descended on the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium after the delivery of the last ball Thursday night.
At the fag end of Bangladesh’s innings, Mashrafe gave the Tigers hope of winning the title scoring 18 runs off just 9 balls before giving a catch to Nasir Jamshed off a Saeed Ajmal delivery in the 48th over.
Earlier, Shakib Al Hasan, termed by many as ‘Mr Dependable’, hit a half-century and was on 68 runs of 72 balls before being bowled in the 44th over.
Opener Tamim Iqbal, who scored 64, 70 and 59 runs in the group-level matches against Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka respectively, scored 60 off 68 balls.
The other opener, Nazimuddin, scored 16 runs off 52 balls before returning to the pavilion in the 17th over.
As he hit the ball off Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan ran quite a fair distance and took a brilliant catch to ensure a jittery Nazimuddin’s exit.
The Bangladesh squad underwent another blow in the fifth ball of the next over when Jahurul Islam failed to pick up a doosra off Saeed Ajmal and gave a catch to Younis at the slip. He played 5 balls but failed to score any run.
Opener Tamim Iqbal went back in the 24th over giving a catch to Younis Khan off Umar Gul. His 60-run inning had eight boundaries.
Nasir Hossain and Shakib Al Hasan built a 89-run partnership, which broke in the 42nd over when Nasir fell.
Nasir went for a pull off a delivery from Umar Gul but could not hit it properly, ending up in giving a catch to Misbah. He scored 28 runs off 63 balls.
A major blow for the Tigers came in the 44th over when Shakib misjudged the line of a delivery off Aizaz Cheema. The ball hit the leg stump.
Shakib hit seven boundaries and an over boundary.
Earlier, Pakistan lost nine wickets in the stipulated 50 overs in the high-voltage match.
After the fall of Shahid Afridi, who sent the run rate up with some quick boundaries, a late burst by Sarfraz Ahmed made the score a fighting one. The Pakistan squad might thank Bangladesh seamer Shahadat Hossain for conceding 19 runs in the last over.
Tigers registered a great start removing opener Nasir Jamshed and experienced batsman Younis Khan within six overs to jolt the former world champions.
Experienced seamer Mashrafe Mortaza gave Bangladesh a flying start sending back Nasir Jamshed in the fifth over.
Jamshed tried to send a comparatively slower delivery but could not hit the ball the way he expected to and managed to give a catch to Mahmudullah in the cover. Jamshed scored 9 runs off 8 balls.
The second gift for the home side came from Nazmul Hossain, the man who destroyed Sri Lanka batting order with three top wickets in the previous match, in the sixth over.
The second ball of the over, which nipped in after pitching, hit Younis’ pad. And there were loud appeal from the bowler and his compatriots. And up goes the umpire’s finger. Out!
Younis scored just one 1 off 5 balls.
It was none other than the Pakistani skipper who had to follow Younis to the pavilion later. Pushing a delivery off seamer Shahadat Hossain, Misbah started to run and hesitated a bit before running again towards the non-striker’s end. And an excellent fielder, Nasir Hossain, picking up the ball, aimed successfully to dislodge the bails.
A big, confident appeal made the umpire signal for third umpire’s decision. And the digital scoreboard showed ‘OUT’ in red letters. A dejected Pak captain walked back scoring 13 runs off 23 balls.
It was quite long before the much-expected wicket of Mohammad Hafeez fell. Hafeez hit hard a ball off Abdur Razzak but failed to get desired elevation, ending up giving a catch to Nazmul Hossain in the 22nd over.
He scored 40 from 87 balls.
Then came another spinner, Shakib, and removed Hammad Azam in the
34th over. While trying to sweep, he saw to his dismay that the top edge landed on the bowler’s hands. A key man in rebuilding mission, Azam scored 30 off 37 balls.
Off-spinner Mahmudullah stroke in the 35th over to send back the other rebuilder, Umar Akmal, after he had scored 30. Wicketkeeper-skipper Mushfiqur Rahim took the catch.
Shakib hit again in the 42nd over to pick up a key wicket, Shahid Afridi. The pinch-hitter went for smashing the ball but ended up in miscuing it, giving catch to Nasir Hossain. He scored sour boundaries and an over-boundary in his 32-run inning off 22 balls.
Umar Gul, a seamer who has already established himself as a batsman, gave an easy catch to Shakib Al Hasan in the 45th over, bowled by Mashrafe, to return to pavilion scoring 4 runs off 6 balls.
Abdur Razzak clean bowled Saeed Ajmal in the last ball of the 46th over. He scored 4 runs off 7 balls.
The match began at 2:00pm Bangladesh time.
Earlier, winning the toss, Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim invited Pakistan to bat in quite an obvious decision expected from a side that has developed a confidence to chase.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Nazimuddin, Jahurul Islam, Mushfiqur Rahim (Captain), Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Nasir Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak, Shahadat Hossain and Nazmul Hossain.
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (Captain), Umar Akmal, Hammad Azam, Shahid Afridi, Sarfraz Ahmed, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal and Aizaz Cheema.