Sarfraz Ahmed
Sarfraz Ahmed

Bangladesh suffer heartbreak in Asia Cup final, lose to Pakistan by 2 runs

NetIndian News Network

Mirpur (Dhaka), March 22, 2012

Bangladesh suffered a heart-break as they lost the Asia Cup cricket tournament final by just two runs against Pakistan in a keenly fought encounter at the Shere Bangla National Stadium here tonight.
Chasing what should have been an easy target of 237, Bangladesh managed 234 for eight in 50 overs after opening batsman Tamim Iqbal made 60 and former skipper Shakib-al-Hasan top scored with 68.
Bangladesh gave themselves a real chance of winning the tournament in their maiden final appearance in the Asia Cup, but they faltered in the chase.
Pakistani pacer Aizaz Cheema was the pick of the bowlers with three for 46 while fast bowling spearhead Umar Gul (2-65) and Saeed Ajmal (2-40) shared four wickets. Shahid Afridi also sent down a miserly spell, giving away just 28 runs and picking one wicket from his 10 overs.
Tamim gave Bangladesh a good start but the team suddenly lost way and from 68 for no loss they were 81 for three in 23.1 overs. Tamim's run-a-ball innings was studded with eight fours and his crucial innings came to an end after he mistimed a pull off Gul and gave a catch to Younis Khan at extra cover.
Shakib and Nasir Hossain (28), however, kept alive Bangladesh's hopes with their 89-run stand for the fourth wicket but after they fell, the hosts lost their bearings completely.
Earlier, a spirited performance by Bangladesh bowlers restricted Pakistan to 236 for nine in 50 overs.
Wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed, who replaced fast bowler Wahab Riaz in the match, was the top scorer with an unbeaten 46 while opening batsman Mohammed Hafeez made 40. Shahid Afridi made a quickfire 32 while Umar Akmal and Hammad Azam made 30 each.
The Pakistani batsmen had themselves to blame for their dismal performance as they failed to capitalise on the starts they got. Pakistan never got a big partnership, the highest being the 59-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Azam and Akmal.
Bangladesh bowlers did well with their disciplined performance and fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza and left-arm spinners Abdur Razzak and Shakib-al-Hasan picking up two wickets each.
Put in to bat, Pakistan made an unimpressive start losing four wickets with just 70 runs on the board. Barring Hafeez none of the top-order batsmen could contribute well. 
Mortaza gave Bangladesh the first breakthrough by getting rid of Nasir Jamshed (9) with a slower delivery caught by Mahmudullah in the covers and Nazmul Hossain (1-36) trapped Younis Khan lbw. Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq scored a 23-ball 13 before getting run out by a direct throw from Nasir Hossain. 
With wickets tumbling at the other end, Hafeez played a watchful 87-ball knock, hitting four fours. The talented all-rounder was dismissed after he tried to hit out Razzak only to find Nazmul Hossain at mid-on as Pakistan slumped to 70 for four.
Azam and Akmal then tried to resurrect the innings with their 59-run stand. They took a cautious approach but they also departed in quick successions to leave Pakistan struggling at 133 for six.
A 45-run stand between former skipper Shahid Afridi and Sarfraz proved crucial in taking Pakistan to a respectable total. Afridi's 32 came off 22 balls and he smashed four fours and a six in his whirlwind knock.
But it was Sarfraz's 46 that helped Pakistan get past 200. Sarfraz hit four fours in his 52-ball innings and batted well in the final overs.
Mohammad Hafeez c Nazmul b Razzak 40
Nasir Jamshed c Mahmudullah b Mortaza 9
Younis Khan lbw  Nazmul Hossain 1
Misbah-ul-Haq run out (Nasir Hossain) 13
Umar Akmal c Mushfiqur Rahim b Mahmudullah 3066.66
Hammad Azam c & b Shakib Al Hasan 30
Shahid Afridi c Nasir Hossain b Shakib Al Hasan 32
Sarfraz Ahmed not out 46
Umar Gul c Shakib Al Hasan b Mashrafe Mortaza 4
Saeed Ajmal b Abdur Razzak 4
Aizaz Cheema not out 9
Extras (b 2, lb 8, w 4, nb 4) 18
Total (for nine wickets in 50 overs) 236
Fall of wickets: 1-16 (Nasir Jamshed, 4.2 overs), 2-19 (Younis Khan, 5.2), 3-55 (Misbah-ul-Haq, 14.5), 4-70 (Mohammad Hafeez, 21.2), 5-129 (Hammad Azam, 33.3), 6-133 (Umar Akmal, 34.5), 7-178 (Shahid Afridi, 41.3), 8-199 (Umar Gul, 44.3), 9-206 (Saeed Ajmal, 45.6)
Mashrafe Mortaza 10-0-48-2
Nazmul Hossain 8-1-36-1
Abdur Razzak 10-3-26-2
Shahadat Hossain 9-0-63-0
Shakib Al Hasan 10-1-39-2
Mahmudullah 3-0-14-1
Tamim Iqbal c Younis b Gul 60
Nazimuddin c Younis b Afridi 16
Jahurul Islam c Younis b Ajmal 0
Nasir Hossain c Misbah b Umar 28
Shakib Al Hasan b Cheema 68
Mushfiqur Rahim c Jamshed b Cheema 10
Mahmudullah not out 17
Mashrafe Mortaza c Jamshed b Ajmal 18
Abdur Razzak b Cheema 6
Shahadat Hossain not out 0
Extras (lb 5, w 4, nb 2) 11
Total (for eight wickets in 50 overs) 234
Fall of wickets: 1-68 (Nazimuddin, 16.4 overs), 2-68 (Jahurul Islam, 17.5), 3-81 (Tamim Iqbal, 23.1), 4-170 (Nasir Hossain, 42.3), 5-179 (Shakib Al Hasan, 43.4), 6-190 (Mushfiqur Rahim, 45.1), 7-218 (Mashrafe Mortaza, 47.4), 8-233 (Abdur Razzak, 49.5)
Mohammad Hafeez 10-0-30-0
Umar Gul 10-2-65-2
Saeed Ajmal 10-2-40-2
Shahid Afridi 10-1-28-1
Aizaz Cheema 7-0-46-3
Hammad Azam 3-0-20-0