Asia Cup: Bangladesh vs Pakistan - As it happened...
Zee Media Bureau/Suyash Srivastava & Chaitan Papnai
Over 49.5 || Score 329/7
Fawad Alam and Shahid Afridi played two superb innings to guide Pakistan to a 3-wicket win over Bangladesh. Afridi's innings in particular, made the huge difference as he slammed a half-century off just 18 balls that reduced the run-rate as well the pressure off Pakistan. Not to forget, Ahmed Shehzad scored a century and batted sensibly, while keeping wickets from one end, as the other batsmen went for their strokes.
Earlier, Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim dropped Afridi off the second ball in the 46th over where the right-hander had hit one into the sky. Afridi, who was struggling with some strain couldn't carry his momentum and was run-out off the fifth ball in the same over. But after his departure, Fawad Alam played some magnificent strokes, including two sixes off Abdur Razzak. Fawad was dismissed in the last over as he ran for a bye, but Umar Akmal pulled the penultimate ball of the innings for a boundary through midwicket for the winning runs.
Umar Akmal 14* (9b) Umar Gul 0* (0b)
Fawad Alam run out 74 (70b)
Shahid Afridi run out 59 (25b)
Over 45 || Score 281/5
Boom Boom Afridi is once again entertaining the local crowd with his swashbuckling play. Afridi cruised to his half-century off just 18 balls which comprised of six sixes and two boundaries. Pakistan now need 52 runs from the last five overs. With Afridi at the crease, even that is possible.
Abdur Rehman c Ziaur Rahman b Mahmudullah 8 (8b)
Over 40 || Score 218/4
After making a slow start, Shehzad did change gears later in the innings where he went onto to score a century. But he was dismissed in a bizarre fashion as he tried to make room for himself and was bowled by a yorker. That wicket ended the 105-run stand between Shehzad and Alam. 73 runs have been scored in the last ten overs.
Ahmed Shehzad b Abdur Razzak 103 (123b)
Over 36 || Score 194/3
Both Shehzad and Fawad are on stroke-playing spree, smashing sixes and fours all around the park. They have salvaged Pakistan's innings with a blistering stand of 86 runs in just 13 overs. Especially, Shehzad who is in magnificent nick. Pakistan need to continue this crucial partnership. Shafiul has been most expensive among the bowlers.
Over 30 || Score 145/3
Mohammad Hafeez's fluent knock came to an end when he was caught at long-on while trying to clear the boundary. In the next over, Pakistan suffered a major blow when Misbah was bowled by Shakib's arm ball and he tried to clear midwicket. Pakistan's woes didn't end there as Sohaib Maqsood was wrongly given caught behind off Mominul Haque. From 97/0, Pakistan have slumped to 105/3 as they lost three wickets in consecutive overs. Ahmed Shehzad is now the set batman playing on 66 and Fawad Alam is batting on 14. Pakistan now need 180 runs from the last 20 overs.
Sohaib Maqsood c Anamul Haque b Mominul Haque 2 (5b)
Misbah-ul-Haq b Shakib Al Hasan 4 (4b)
Mohammad Hafeez c Imrul Kayes b Mominul Haque 52 (55b)
Over 20 || Score 97/0
The openers have so far added 97 runs for the first-wicket partnership. Shehzad still hasn't changed gears, but he has been supporting Hafeez extremely well.
Over 15 || Score 79/0
This is now an excellent start by Hafeez and Shehzad who have batted brilliantly in the last ten overs. Hafeez has done most of the scoring so far and he has been well supported by Shehzad at the other end. That seems to be the plan for the time being. Hafeez who scored 75 runs in the previous match against India, is looking all set for another big knock here. Pakistan now need 248 runs from 35 overs with ten wickets in hand.
Mohammad Hafeez 49* (42b) Ahmed Shehzad 24* (50b)
Over 5 || Score 26/0
Pakistan have made a decent start so far as the openers have added 26 runs without the loss of a wicket. They now need 301 runs from 45 overs. Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez will have the onus of making the best of the field restrictions early in the innings.
Over 50 || Score 326/3
Outstanding batting display by the home team. Three Bangladeshi batsmen crossed the fifty-run mark and opener Anamul went on to score a hundred. In the last ten overs they score 112 runs and lost just a single wicket. For the records, Pakistan haven't successfully chase a target above 300 against any team than India. Bangladeshi batsmen have done their work not it's time for their bowlers to defend this mammoth total.
Over 47 || Score 293/3
Anamul Haque scored a splendid hundred today. He used mere 132 balls to reach the mark with the help of six boundaries and four sixes. In the 40th over Ajmal got the better of him. But after that Mominul competed his fifty too before getting out. Pakistani bowlers failed to impress today. In the last four overs Bangladesh have collected 47 runs and lost just a wicket in the form of Mominul. From here on the home team must be eyeing for a total somewhere near 340.
Over 28 || Score 149/0
Imrul Kayes has also completed his fifty and both the openers have exposed Pakistani bowling attack today. They are smashing Pak bowlers all over the park. It's high time Pakistan should break this partnership otherwise the home side will set up a mammoth target in front of the defending champions. Pakistani bowling is looking totally off-colour at the moment.
Over 23 || Score 124/0
Pakistani bowlers are not at all troubling the Bangladeshi openers. In fact, in the last few overs they are toying with the Pak bowling attack. In no time Bangladesh have crossed the 100-run mark and are heading towards a big score. Anamul Haque has already completed his fifty and is playing on 69, whereas, Imrul is just four runs shy of completing his half-century. Pak bowlers are looking clueless at the moment.
Over 15 || Score 71/0
Suddenly, Bangladeshi openers have started collecting boundaries every now and then. Especially, Anamul Haque is changing gears. He has started scoring boundaries at will. Pakistani bowlers are feeling hapless at the moment. Anamul has quickly moved to 41. Meanwhile, Bangladesh have crossed the mark of 50 runs. In the 15th over, prime Pak spinner Saeed Ajmal has been introduced into the attack to break this opening partnership, which is looking dangerous with every passing over.
Over 10 || Score 39/0
Bangladeshi openers are still at the crease and playing sensible cricket. They are looking for singles and doubles but at the same time not missing a single chance to collect a boundary or two on loose deliveries. In the 10th over they collected 11 runs from Gul's over by smashing him for a boundary and a six. Pakistan's search for first wicket still continues.
Over 5 || Score 20
A decent start by Bangladesh as in the first five overs their openers have taken calculated risks and are still at the crease. Imrul Kayes is on nine, whereas, Anamul Haque is unbeaten on ten. Pakistani bowers are still hunting for their first breakthrough.
Over 2 || Score 7/0
Spearhead Pakistani seamer, Umar Gul is sharing the new ball with Hafeez. But he leaked five runs in his first over. Bangladeshi openers have to give their team a solid start at the top if they want to set up a formidable total in front of Pakistan.
Over 1 || Score 2/0
So Pakistani skipper has once again given the new ball to spinner Mohammad Hafeez to start the bowling proceedings. Good strategy by the Misbah, as the ball is turning. Off -spinner Hafeez is right on the money as he gave just two runs in the first over.
Bangladesh have won the toss and elected to bat first. It means Bangladesh have to put up a big total here if they want to beat Pakistan in this match.
Mirpur: After wining a cliffhanger against arch-rivals India, a spirited Pakistan will look to seal a berth in the finals when they lock horns with beleaguered hosts Bangladesh in their last round-robin Asia Cup match, which will kick-off within few minutes.
The top two teams qualify for the summit clash and Pakistan, having collected nine points from three appearances, will go into the match as favourites.
The momentum swung their way after `boom boom` Shahid Afridi`s enterprise laid India low at the Shere Bangla Stadium here last night. In the first match defending champion Pakistan had lost to Sri Lanka in the tournament opener, before getting their campaign back on track with successive wins over Afghanistan and the big one against India.
On the other hand Bangladesh will play for pride as they have lost both their matches of the five nation series and are virtually out of the race to make it to the finals.
In One-day cricket, Bangladesh have upstaged Pakistan just once, that too way back in the 1999 World Cup in England.
And again, Bangladesh, who played the final of the last edition, would be looking to prove that the loss to Afghanistan was a mere aberration and the side has the potential to humble stiffer opponents.