Down the wire: 2012 Asia Cup final - Pakistan vs Bangladesh
Amongst all the finals played in the Asia Cup, none has been more closely fought than the one between Pakistan & Bangladesh in the 2012 edition. Pakistan, owing to its victories against Bangladesh & Sri Lanka in the group stage, qualified for the finals. Bangladesh, on the other hand, defeated India & Sri Lanka to make it to the finals.
This was Pakistan's third appearance in the Asia Cup finals and Bangladesh's first ever appearance. The venue was Sher-e-Bangla Stadium at Mirpur Thana.
Bangladesh had won the toss and elected to field first. Pakistan with decent contributions from Mohd. Hafeez (40), Umar Akmal (30), Hammad Azam (30), Shahid Afridi (32) and Sarfraz Ahmed (46) scored 236/9 from 50 overs. Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak & Shakib Al Hasan picked up two wickets each. Abdur Razzak with bowling figures of 10 overs 3 maidens 26 runs and 2 wickets at an economy of 2.6 was the pick of the bowlers.
Bangladesh started their innings with a 68 run partnership between openers Tanim Iqbal & Nazimuddin. The next batsman Jahurul Islam lasted only three minutes when he fell for a duck in the fifth ball he faced. Tanim Iqbal was the next man to fall after scoring 60 runs. This was his 4th consecutive half-century in the tournament. Bangladesh, at this stage, were 81/3 from 23.1 overs.
Between the 24th and the 30th overs, Bangladesh could only manage to score 20 runs. At the end of the 30th over they were 101/3, needing 136 runs to win from the last 20 overs. Even though the scoring rate was slow, Shakib Al Hasan & Nasir Hossain were building up a formidable partnership. Their partnership lasted for 89 runs before Nasir Hossain fell for 28. Shakib Al Hasan also fell soon after scoring 68 with Bangladesh being 179/5 from 43.4 overs.
Though none of the remaining batsmen scored big runs, they kept the scoreboard ticking. At the end of the 49th over Bangladesh were 228/7, needing 9 runs to win from 6 balls and with 3 wickets in hand. They managed to score 5 runs from the first 4 balls of the 50th over. In the 5th ball, Azaiz Cheema bowled Abdur Razzak. Four runs needed off the last ball for victory. Unfortunately for Bangladesh, there was no last minute heroics from the batsman, as he could only manage a single (leg bye).
Pakistan had won their second Asia Cup, by the smallest of margins - 2 runs.
Shahid Afridi for his performance of 32 runs with the bat and 1/28 with the ball (economy of 2.80) as adjudged the Player of the match. Shakib Al Hasan, who had scored 3 half-centuries and had taken 6 wickets was declared the Player of the Series.