Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pakistan defeats Bangladesh by 21-run in the Asian Cup opener

Bangladesh was handed to a 21-run defeat by Pakistan in the opening match of the Asia Cup cricket tournament in Dhaka on 11 March (Sunday).

Tailender Umar Gul played a very important role behind the victory of his team. His all-rounder performance not only helped Pakistan to reach a decent total but also led them to a victory after he claimed the last wicket of this match.

Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim won the toss and invited Pakistan to bat first. It was obviously a good decision to choose field first in the day-night match played at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Pakistan scored 262 runs for the loss of 8 wickets in their limited overs. Openers Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed made a slow start and shared a 135-run partnership in the first wicket stand before the departure of Nasir Jamshed for 54 in 27.5 overs. Another opener Hafeez scored 89 runs before becoming the victim of Shahadat Hossain.

After the departure of two openers neither of the batsmen could play well and failed to make a big score. When Pakistan was struggling at 198 for 7, Umar Gul came on the crease and played an aggressive 25-ball 39 innings where he hit five boundaries and a six.

Sarfraz Ahmed remained not out on 19 while Saeed Ajmal scored unbeaten 8 runs.

Shahadat Hossain took three wickets while Shakib Al Hasan claimed two wickets. Both Mashrafe Mortaza and Abdur Razzak got one wicket each.

In reply, Bangladesh got all out for 241 with 11 balls remaining to play. Both Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan scored 64 runs.

Nasir Hossain played a very important innings and making pair with Shakib Al Hasan in the sixth wicket-stand kept the hope alive of winning the match.

While Bangladesh was reduced to 135 for 5, Nasir Hossain came to the field to make partnership with Shakib Al Hasan. He scored 47 runs and added 89 runs with Shakib.

After the departure of Nasir at 224, Bangladesh lost the last four wickets in just 17 runs.

For Pakistan, Umar Gul took three wickets while Mohamamd Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi claimed two wickets each.

Mohammad Hafeez was announced player of the match for his all-rounder performance.