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Bangladesh Register Remarkable Win on Pakistan to Meet India in Asia Cup Final

Bangladesh Register Remarkable Win on Pakistan to Meet India in Asia Cup Final

March 03
11:46 2016

asiapakNew Delhi, Thursday, March 3 – The final of Asia Cup will be played between Bangladesh and India on the March 6. The second team that booked a berth there after the Men in Blue is the home side and that got possible by beating Pakistan in a decider by 5 wickets.

Mashrafe Mortaza guided that squad which had Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Mithun, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Taskin Ahmed, Arafat Sunny and Al-Amin Hossain, while on the other hand, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Khurram Manzoor, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Sami and Mohammad Irfan were led by Shahid Afridi.

In the crucial match of the ongoing tournament, Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat first. They were expected to make the best use of the opportunity to set target for the opponensts but hardly they smelled the danger of getting a taste of their own medicine. Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka was crowded with fans who came with flags of the country they were supporting.

If a glance is given over the scoring pattern at the venue then it will be found that average first inning score is 146 and average second inning score is 125. Highest total of 204 for the loss of five wickets in 20 overs was set by the Black Caps in opposition to Bangladesh, whereas the lowest total of 72 for the loss of 10 wickets in 17.1 overs was put by Afghanistan against Bangladesh. More to the point, 179 runs were the highest chased by West Indies in opposition to Australia. In contrast, lowest total of 107 was defended by Sri Lankan cricket team in opposition to West Indies.

Bangladesh stunned Pakistan by finishing their innings at a score of 129 earned for the loss of seven wickets in 20 overs. It was surprising to see opener Khurram Manzoor playing an unconfident shot to get some runs but lost his wicket to Rahim b Al-Amin after opening his account. Sharjeel Khan attained 10 runs off 8 balls thanks to a six and four but Sunny did not let him go any further. The new batsman on the crease was Mohammad Hafeez, who got his legs before wicket the moment Mortaza was brought on attack. He only contributed a couple of runs in the team’s total score.

Unlike the top order batsman, Sarfraz Ahmed, the wicket-keeper of Pakistan, was not out 58 runs that came in 42 deliveries and included five fours and two sixes.  But he couldn’t get a partnership from Umar Akmal that may have helped Pakistan gain a grip in the match. Taskin Ahmed dismissed Akmal at a score of 4. The batsman felt pressurized as he faced 11 balls to get that total. Shoaib Malik’s 41 runs off 30 balls (4 x 5 and 6 x 1) came at the right time, helping Pakistan to a certain extent as runs were only required by the tourist to shift stress on the host. Sunny showed him the way back to the dressing room.

Shahid Afridi seemed missing the spark, which saved Pakistan on more than a few occasions in the past. Al-Amin made him go back for a duck, surprising the skipper and spreading broad smile on the faces of Bangladesh supporters.  His wicket was huge as Afridi being capable to play role of the anchor. But perhaps, a different story was to be written yesterday. Anwar also succumbed to Al-Amin at 13 runs that comprised a four as well.

Given that target set by Pakistan was not tough, Bangladesh did not want to get careless. However, second over was in progress when Tamim Iqbal was given lbw at 7 runs that included a six. Soumya Sarkar fell two runs short to get a fifty but his 48-run knock was yet useful. 5 fours and a biggie built pressure on the opponents. He was dismissed by Amir but after Afridi took wicket of Sabbir Rahman, who scored 14 runs in 15 balls, together with a four.

Mushfiqur Rahim refrained from risk-taking and tried to run for singles and twos. He was lbw by Malik when playing at a score of 12. Shakib Al Hasan once again did not succeed to stay on the pitch for long and show some great batting. Amir made him go back to the pavilion when he was batting at 8 runs. Mahmudullah and Mashrafe Mortaza saved their wickets and played some daring shots to take Bangladesh in the last blow. Mahmudullah was not out at 22 runs off 15 balls (4 x 2 and 6 x 1) and Bangladesh skipper was not out 12 runs off 7 balls (4 x 2). Bangladesh scored 131 runs in 19.1 overs, closing doors for Pakistan to think of making to the finals that was possible with two consecutive defeats.

India are certainly not going to consider Bangladesh an underdog team at all, especially after keeping their good show against Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Asia Cup and against them when they toured Bangladesh last year. It is the perfect time for Dhoni-led Indian camp to take revenge against Bangladesh. Nothing can be a better opportunity to thrash the rivals when a winner’s trophy is to be won. When the two teams met in Asia Cup opener, Bangladesh did well in the early overs but India managed to pile up 166 runs in the shortest format. The host fell 45 runs short while chasing the target. If truth be told then chances are almost equal for both India and Bangladesh in the final game, taking into consideration the potential housed by both young and experienced players.

The height of Bangladesh in the world of cricket is increasing day by day and that is just not the luck behind their success. The team performed as a unit several times, logging thumping wins of the squads that have been playing this unpredictable sport from a number of decades. Now when India and Bangladesh are to meet in a game that will decide Asia Cup winner on Sunday, the matches between India and United Arab Emirates today and Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Friday remain a formality. Eyes are now struck over tactics of Dhoni and Mortaza that could enable their teams be on the front foot right from the beginning till the end.

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