Pak prevails in dramatic final
Mirpur, Mar 22: Pakistan held their nerve to beat Bangladesh in a nail biting final at Mirpur to clinch the Asia Cup trophy on Thursday. Bangladesh's hope of winning their maiden Asia Cup title was spoiled by the Pakistani bowlers who restricted hosts two short of the winning target.
Chasing 237, Bangladesh got off to a brisk start as Tamim Iqbal and Nazimuddin took the hosts past 50-mark without allowing the visitors any success.
Iqbal scored his fourth consecutive half ton to keep Pakistani bowlers at bay. However, just after Iqbal's half-ton Afridi struck for Pakistan ending Nazimuddin's challenge.
Before the hosts could recover form the first blow, Ajmal spell magic to scalp Islam at the score of 68.
Pakistan pacer Umar Gul got rid of Tamim Iqbal (60) after his solid show to rattle Bangladesh after a brisk start.
Gul got Iqbal caught by Younis Khan to reduce Bangladesh to 81/3 in 24 th over.
Iqbal's dismissal came soon after spinners' double-strike that spoiled Bangladesh's steady start.
After recording two upsets in the form India and Sri Lanka already in the event, giant-killers Bangladesh are in with a golden opportunity to create history by halting Pakistan within a reachable target.
But if not for some lacklustre bowling by Shahdat Hossain towards the end and useful contributions from Shahid Afridi (32) and wicket-keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed (46 not out), the target could have been much lower for Bangladesh.
Shahdat gave away 19 runs in the final over of the innings and was guilty of bowling two no-balls, which not only boosted Pakistan's score but also their confidence.
Young Sarfaraz top-scored for Pakistan with an unbeaten 46, while Shahid Afridi played a 22-ball 32-run cameo to wriggle Pakistan out of trouble.
Muhammad Hafeez (40), Umar Akmal (30) and Hammad Azam (30) all failed to capitalise on good starts.
For Bangaldesh, experienced pacer Mashrafe Mortaza (2/48)), and spin duo of Abdur Razak (2/26) and Shakib Al Hasan (2/39) scalped two wickets apiece, while Nazmul Hossain (1/36) and Mahmudullah (1/14) picked up one each. Shahdat conceded 63 runs off his nine overs.
Backed by a partisan home crowd, Bangladesh made a dream start to their maiden Asia Cup title quest by striking early blows after inviting Pakistan to bat.
Experienced pacer Mortaza and his new-ball partner Nazmul picked up wicket apiece in consecutive overs to reduce Pakistan to 19 for two in 5.2 overs.
Left-handed opener Nasir Jamshed was the first Pakistani batsman to fall in the fifth over, handing a simple catch to Mahmudullah at cover of a slower delivery from Mortaza while trying to clear the in-field.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 22 Mar 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 22 Mar 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 23 Mar 2012 00:00:00 IST
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