Wednesday , December 13 2017

Bangladesh reach Asia Cup final – Sarkar B’desh highest scorer with 48 runs, Pakistan beaten by 5 wickets

Pakistan cricketer Sarfraz Ahmed (left), plays a shot as Bangladesh wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim (right), looks on during the Asia Cup T20 tournament match between Bangladesh and Pakistan at The Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on March 2. (AFP)
Pakistan cricketer Sarfraz Ahmed (left), plays a shot as Bangladesh wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim (right), looks on during the Asia Cup T20 tournament match between Bangladesh and Pakistan at The Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on March 2. (AFP)

DHAKA, March 2, (Agencies): Bangladesh’s lower-order batsmen kept their cool under pressure to beat Pakistan by five wickets in Dhaka on Wednesday, securing them a place in the Asia Cup final.

Soumya Sarkar was Bangladesh’s highest scorer with 48 runs, helping his team to 131-5 in 19.1 overs after they restricted Pakistan to 129-7 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

The hosts will play their second Asia Cup final against India on March 6.

Bangladesh’s Mahmudullah Riyad struck medium pacer Anwar Ali for a boundary to complete the thrilling victory and stay unbeaten on 22.

The winning boundary triggered wild celebrations in the dressing room and in the boisterous gallery, where Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was among those watching.

Mohammad Amir threatened to spoil the hosts’ party in front of a packed stadium when he bowled Soumya and Shakib Al Hasan in successive overs during his second spell, to finish 2-26.

When he bowled Shakib, Bangladesh still needed 26 runs in 16 balls with the tail exposed to Pakistan’s top pace attack.

But Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza, not out on 12, moved himself up the order to hit two boundaries in Amir’s next two balls and take off some pressure.

“It’s a big win for us,” Mashrafe said after the match.

“This was like a semi-final. (I) told the boys to just grab it, because we knew there would be plenty of such matches in the future. There was a bit of pressure in the middle, but we coped well.”

The match swung decisively to Bangladesh’s favour when Mashrafe and Mahmudullah scored 15 runs in Mohammad Sami’s next over, which included two no balls.

Pakistan’s captain Shahid Afridi rued his side’s poor batting.

“We made too many mistakes. It wasn’t a good total, but the bowlers did superbly,” Afridi said.

Pakistan recovered from a slow start to put on a decent score, thanks to an unbeaten half-century from wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed.

But Bangladesh’s pace bowlers managed to keep Pakistan to 28-4 before Ahmed and Shoaib Malik shared 70 runs for the fifth wicket.

Ahmed hit 58 off 42 balls, with five fours and two sixes, while Malik added 41 off 31 balls as Pakistan scored 95 runs in the last 10 overs.

Malik, fresh from a match-winning unbeaten 63 against the UAE, hit five fours and a six.

Al-Amin Hossain grabbed 3-25 runs, while Arafat Sunny claimed 2-35 playing his first match in the tournament.

Taskin Ahmed conceded just two runs in his first three overs, before finishing with 1-14.

Pakistan will face Sri Lanka on March 4, although neither team can now reach the final. The other finalists, India, will face the UAE on Thursday.

An “energised” Dale Steyn has passed his fitness tests and will play for South Africa in their three-match Twenty20 International series against Australia starting in Durban on Friday.

Steyn, one of the world’s leading pacemen, has missed most of South Africa’s season with groin and shoulder problems but is ready to face Australia in the warm-up series for the World Twenty20.

“A hungry, fit, energised Dale is a massive plus for us,” South Africa coach Russell Domingo told reporters on Tuesday. “He hasn’t played for South Africa for a long period of time and he has come here with a great attitude.

“He is desperate to play, desperate to do well, he wants to win a World Cup, he wants to be involved in all formats of the game, so his energy levels are right up there and that bodes really well for us.”

Steyn has not featured in the 20-over format for his country since the last World Cup in Bangladesh in 2014 after a self-imposed exile but is making a return to add experience ahead of the next tournament in India starting on March 8.

“The big thing for these type of players is making sure the hunger and passion is there. He has definitely got that at the moment,” Domingo said.

“His skills are always going to be there, he is desperate to play for South Africa, and that is great news as a coach.”

South Africa start the series against Australia in Durban on Friday before moving on to Johannesburg on Sunday. They complete the series in Cape Town on March 9.

The Proteas open their World Twenty20 campaign against England on March 18 and will also play Sri Lanka and West Indies in their pool.

Scoreboard

DHAKA, Bangladesh, March 2, (AP): Scoreboard Wednesday in the Asia Cup match between Bangladesh and Pakistan at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium:

PAKISTAN

Khurram Manzoor c Rahim b Al-Amin…… 1

Sharjeel Khan b Suny…………………… 10

Mohammad Hafeez lbw Mortaza………… 2

Sarfraz Ahmed not out………………….. 58

Umar Akmal c Shakib b Taskin………….. 4

Shoaib Malik c Sabbir b Sunny………….. 41

Shahid Afridi c Sabbir b Al-Amin…………. 0

Anwar Ali c Sabbir b Al-Amin…………… 13

Extras:………………………………….. 0

Total: (for seven wickets)……………… 129

Overs: 20.

Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-12, 3-18, 4-28, 5-98, 6-102, 7-129.

Did not bat: Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Irfan

Bowling: Taskin Ahmed 4-1-14-1, Al-Amin Hossain 4-0-25-3, Arafat Sunny 4-0-35-2, Mashrafe Mortaza 4-0-29-1, Shakib Al Hasan 4-0-26-0

BANGLADESH

Tamim Iqbal lbw Irfan……………………. 7

Soumya Sarkar b Amir…………………. 48

Sabbir Rahman b Afridu………………… 14

Mushfiqur Rahim b Malik………………. 12

Shakib Al Hasan b Amir…………………. 8

Mahmudullah not out……………………. 22

Mashrafe Mortaza not out………………. 12

Extras: (4lb, 2w, 2nb)……………………. 8

Total: (for five wickets)………………… 131

Overs:     19.1.

Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-46, 3-83, 4-88, 5-104.

Did not bat: Mohammad Mithun, Arafat Sunny, Al-Amin Hossain, Taskin Ahmed

Bowling: Mohammad Amir 4-0-26-2 (1w), Mohammad Irfan 4-0-23-1, Mohammad Sami 4-0-30-0 (2nb), Shahid Afridi 4-0-20-1, Anwar Ali 2.1-0-25-0 (1w), Shoaib Malik 1-0-3-1

Toss: Pakistan

Umpires: Anil Chaudhary, India, and, Ruchira Palliyaguruge, Sri Lanka.

TV umpire: Enamul Haque, Bangladesh. Match referee: Jeff Crowe, New Zealand.

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