Sarfraz Ahmed
Sarfraz Ahmed

Pakistan beat Bangladesh by two runs to lift Asia Cup

NetIndian News Network

Mirpur (Dhaka), March 22, 2012

Pakistan snatched a two-run victory over Bangladesh in the final to win the Asia Cup cricket tournament at the Shere Bangla National Stadium here tonight.
Bangladesh did well to restrict Pakistan to 236 for nine in their allotted 50 overs, but 
Scoreboard of Asia Cup final but fell short of the trget by two runs, ending up with 234 for eight.
Opener Tamim Iqbal (60) and Shakib Al Hasan (68) batted well to bring the hosts within hand-shaking distance of the title, but they failed to make it in the end.
Aizaz Cheema was Pakistan's most successful bowler today with three for 46, while Saeed Ajmal and Umar Gul picked up two wickets apiece.
Earlier, the Bangladesh bowlers put up a spirited performance to restrict Pakistan to 236 for nine. 
Wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed, who replaced fast bowler Wahab Riaz in the match, was the top scorer for Pakistan 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 poor total 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.
Bangaldesh 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.
This was Bangladesh's maiden Asia Cup final appearance and their performance in the tournament was their best showing since they made their debut in international cricket in 1999.
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