Pakistan secured a comfortable victory against Bangladesh in a crucial Super 4 clash of the Asia Cup 2023 at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on Wednesday. The enthusiastic crowd at the stadium came out in full force to support the home team in their final match on home soil as the Men in Green wrapped up their Pakistan leg of the Asian tournament.
During their chase of a modest 194-run target set by Bangladesh, Pakistan encountered a few hurdles but ultimately emerged victorious, losing only three wickets in the process. Opener Imam-ul-Haq was the standout performer for the winning side, contributing 78 runs off 84 deliveries, including nine boundaries. A significant contribution was made by Mohammad Rizwan, who scored 63 runs for his team.
Pakistan faced an initial setback when Fakhar Zaman was dismissed by Shoriful Islam after scoring 20 runs. Following Zaman’s departure, skipper Babar Azam fell victim to Taskin Ahmed’s low-bouncing delivery, leaving Pakistan at 74-2. However, Rizwan’s arrival at the crease stabilized the innings, and he built an essential 85-run partnership with Imam to guide Pakistan to victory.
Pakistan is now set to face their arch-rivals, India, in their next Super Four match in Colombo on September 10 (Sunday).
In the first innings, Bangladesh managed to post a total of 193 runs, largely thanks to an exceptional performance by the Pakistani pacers who maintained control throughout.
Pakistan dominated the match from the outset, claiming their first wicket on the seventh ball. After Shaheen Afridi bowled a maiden over, Naseem Shah provided an early breakthrough by removing Mehidy Hasan Miraz with his very first delivery.
Bangladesh continued to lose wickets, finding themselves at 47/4 in just 9.1 overs. Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan, a seasoned pair, showed resiliency by forming a vital 100-run combination and leading their team to a decent total. Shakib Al Hasan contributed 53 runs before being dismissed by Faheem Ashraf, while Rahim was later removed by Haris Rauf after scoring 64.
Haris Rauf quickly followed up with the wicket of Taskin Ahmed on the next ball after Rahim’s dismissal. The final two wickets for Pakistan were taken by Naseem Shah.
In the group stage, Pakistan and India advanced from Group A, while Bangladesh and Sri Lanka secured their spots in the Asia Cup Super 4 from Group B.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf.
Bangladesh: Mohammad Naim, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Litton Das, Towhid Hridoy, Shakib Al Hasan (c), Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Shamim Hossain, Afif Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Hasan Mahmud.