Bangladesh overpowered Pakistan in the virtual semi-final of Asia Cup 2018 by 37 runs at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
It was a Mustafizur Rahman’s four wickets coupled with Mushfiqur Rahim’s brilliant 99-run knock that saw Bangladesh through to the all-important final of the tournament of regional supremacy.
Bangladesh will now face India for the ultimate glory in the final of Asia Cup tomorrow at 5:30pm (BST).
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza won the toss and chose to bat first. Tigers put 239 runs on the board, in reply, Pakistan could only manage 202 runs losing nine wickets playing 50 overs.
The men in red and green had a dream start in their fight to defend the fighting total. Tigers sent three Pakistan batsmen back to the pavilion for just 18 runs on the board.
Explosive opener Fakhar Zaman (1) was the first to go as he was caught out off a low lying beamer by Mehedi Hasan Miraz (2-28).
Cutter-master Mustafizur was phenomenal as he picked up Babar Azam with a text-book perfect swinger back into the right hander.
The fizz didn’t take long to strike again as he sent back Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed for just 10 runs.
But it was Imam-ul-Huq who dragged Pakistan innings forward accompanied by Shoaib Malik (30). The pair put up a 67-run stand before Malik was removed by a well-directed full ball by Rubel Hossain (1-38).
Later, Imam partnered with Asif Ali for a 71-run partnership. The stand threatened to take the game away from Tigers but senior all-rounder Mahmdullah Riyad (1-38) stepped up to the plate to remove Imam.
Riyad along with Soumya Sarkar (1-19) chipped in beautifully and played their part to the perfection. Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe was inspirational in the field with a brilliant catch.
Earlier in the first innings, Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur’s 99-run innings gave Tigers a fighting total of 239 runs.
Tigers were all out for 239 runs in 48.5 overs.
Mushfiqur along with Mohammad Mithun carried Bangladesh’s innings forward under the sweltering sun of Abu Dhabi.
Bangladesh lost three wickets for just 12 runs in the first five overs.
Tigers’ Asia Cup squad wild card entrant Soumya (0) once again failed to live up to his promise as he was sent back to the pavilion for a duck. Mominul Hoque (5) also followed suit soon after as he was bowled out by Shaheen Afridi. Bangladesh opener Litton Kumar Das (6) also joined the procession back to the dressing room as he was bowled by Junaid Khan cheaply.
The ever trusty Mushfiqur Rahim joined forces with Mithun to steady the rocking ship as they put up a partnership of 144 runs.
Mithun played a sensible knock of 60 runs off 84 balls. But it was the dependable Mushfiqur who came to the rescue of Bangladesh yet again with 99 runs from 116 balls to his name. His sensational innings gave Bangladesh the defensive total.
Mahmudullah Riyad (25) looked set for the late-flurry but was sent back to the dug-out by Junaid.