Abu Dhabi: Gritty Bangladesh beat Pakistan in the last and deciding match of Asia Cup Super-4 to set up a final date with India, on Wednesday. Bangladesh held their nerves and carved out a 37-run win against Pakistan.
The Sheikh Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi is like an oasis. Carved out in the middle of a desert here, the stadium sports a lush green outfield and well-maintained grass banks. Even the pitch wore a tinge of green and offered some pace. The venue turned into a stage for another closely fought encounter between Pakistan and Bangladesh.
When two merciful teams meet in such a high-octane clash, sparks are bound to fly. It started from the time Bangladesh gave Pakistan first shot with the new ball in the afternoon.The Pakistani new ball bowlers got into the act straightaway. There were stumps flying all over the place as Junaid Khan and Shaheen Afridi knocked off the Bangladesh top-order to reduce them to 12/3 by the fifth over before Mushfiqur Rahman took centre stage. Mushfiqur, the crisis man of Bangladesh, again came to the rescue of the team. He helped Bangladesh to register a respectable score along with the youngster Mohammad Mithun. Mushfiqur scored 99 runs where as Mithun scored 60 runs and registered a 144-run stand for the fourth wicket which gave Bangladesh bowlers 239 runs to defend.
Image source- AP
Mushfiqur and Mithun defied the aggression of Junaid who finished with figures of 4/19. Mushfiqur got out to a Afridi delivery which was caught by Sarfraz. His innings were full of deft touches, crisp drives, disdainful pulls and clean sweeps.
Image source- AP
In reply, Pakistan also lost wickets early as Mustafizur and Mehidy Hasan got them gasping at 18/3 with Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam and Sarfraz Ahmed back in the pavilion. The young Imam-ul-Haq came to the rescue of Pakistan.He socred 83 runs but got out to Mahmudullah’s arm ball to be stumped by Liton Das. After he got out Bangladesh took full control of the proceedings, with Mustafizur finishing with figures of 4/43. Pakistan was bundled for just 209 runs.
No one is an underdog. Not quite what fans would have wanted, many had anticipated an India vs Pak final but Bangladesh were just superb on the day, The 5 M’s Mushfiqur, Mithun, Mustafizur ,Mahmudullah & Mehidy had brilliant performances and hard luck to Pakistan. #BANvPAK
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) September 26, 2018
The match was about the pace ace and movement of Junaid Khan and the maturity and class of Mushfiqur. Junaid, replacing Mohammed Amir, set the tone for Pakistan. When he got Saumya Sarkar at mid-on, undone by his pace and length, and knocked over Liton Das’s off-stump, it seemed Pakistan had got their familiar aggression back. All of that had one major hurdle in a five feet three inches long Mishfiqur.
(Source- TNN, NEWS18)