Asia Cup 2018: Bangladesh qualify for the finals with a convincing 37 run win over Pakistan
Bangladesh stunned the entire world and defeated Pakistan by 37 runs in the last super four match of Unimoni Asia Cup 2018 to qualify for the finals of Asia Cup played at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Bangladesh had posted a decent total after losing early wickets and their bowlers made life tough for the Pakistani batsmen.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza won the toss and decided to bat first. Pakistan got off to a perfect start as Junaid Khan and Shaheen Shah Afridi reduced Bangladesh to 12 for 3 in the 5th over.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed allowed Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Mithun to settle by bringing in part-time spinners, Mohammad Nawaz and Shoaib Malik. Both Bangladesh batsmen played Pakistan bowlers with ease, taking singles and hitting boundaries on bad balls.
Rahim continued his good form in Asia Cup 2018 by reaching to his half-century off 68 balls while Mithun made a half-century off 66 balls. Hasan Ali broke through dismissing Mohammad Mithun for 60. Rahim and Mithun added 144 runs for the 4th wicket.
Pakistan made a strong comeback by picking wickets at regular intervals. Imrul Kayes made 9 runs before being dismissed by Shadab Khan. Mahmudullah and Rahim added 30 runs for the 6th wicket. Shaheen Shah Afridi got the big wicket of Rahim for 99. Mehedi Miraz Hassan and Mahmudullah added 24 runs for the 7th wicket.
Pakistan bowled well in the death overs to bowl out Bangladesh for 239 in 48.5 overs. Junaid Khan was the pick of bowlers for Pakistan with 4 for 19 in 9 overs while Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali took 2 wickets each. Shadab Khan took one wicket.
Chasing 240 runs to win, Bangladesh made a brilliant start as Mehedi Miraz Hasan got the big wicket of the dangerous Fakhar Zaman in the very first over itself. Mustafizur Rahman struck picking Babar Azam and Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed to put Pakistan under pressure at 18 for 3. At the end of 10 overs, Pakistan had just scored 37 for 3.
Malik and Imam-ul-Haq took singles and hit the bad balls away for boundaries. Both of them added 67 runs for the 4th wicket before Malik was dismissed for 30 by a brilliant catch from Bangladesh captain Mortaza. Shadab Khan came to the crease but could only score 4 as Soumya Sarkar got his maiden ODI wicket.
Imam UL Haq and Asif Ali steadied the innings with a solid partnership. Imam impressed with his batting reaching his half-century off 74 deliveries. Both of them added 71 runs for the 6th wicket.
Mehedi Miraz took the important wicket of Asif Ali and then Mahmudullah got big wicket of Imam-ul-Haq for 83 to break the backbone of Pakistan batting lineup. Bangladesh kept picking wickets and restricted Pakistan to 202 for 9. Imam-ul-Haq was the top scorer for Pakistan with 83.
Mustafizur Rahman was the pick of bowlers for Bangladesh with 4 wickets while Mehedi Miraz took 2 wickets. Mahmudullah, Soumya Sarkar and Rubel Hossain took 1 wicket each.
Bangladesh will take on India in the finals of Asia Cup on 28th at Dubai.