Bangladesh are through to the final of the Asia Cup after a memorable 37-run win over Pakistan in Abu Dhabi to book a final berth against India.
Bangladesh might well have been ruing their decision to bat first after Pakistan ripped their top order out to have them reeling at 12 for three in the fifth over.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Mithun added 144 for the fourth wicket, which gave the innings enough impetus to reach 239 all out in the 49th over.
Mushfiqur Rahim was caught behind by Sarfraz Ahmed off Shaheen Shah Afridi for a splendid 99 off 116 balls (nine fours, S/R 85.34), and Mohammad Mithun was caught and bowled by Hasan Ali
for 60 off 84 deliveries (four fours, S/R 71.42).
Junaid Khan was sensational with the ball, taking two of the early wickets to fall and ending with figures of 9-1-19-4 (econ 2.11), while Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali each picked up two wickets.
Pakistan got off to an equally poor start, with Mustafizur Rahman striking twice as Pakistan found themselves 18 for three in the fourth over. Imam-ul-Haq steadied the ship with a fine innings of 83 off 105 balls (two fours, one six, S/R 79.04), but the only other meaningful contributions with the bat came from Shoaib Malik (30) and Asif Ali (31) as Pakistan struggled through their innings to finish on 202-9 off their 50 overs.
The Bangladesh bowlers and fielders had reason to be proud of themselves after defending a relatively low target, with Mustafizur Rahman (4-43, econ 4.30) and Mehidy Hasan Miraz (2-28, econ 2.80) the pick of the bowlers.
‘It was important I kept belief in myself,’ said Player of the Match Mushfiqur Rahim, who added a catch to his . ‘And Mithun batted brilliantly too. I told him that we need to dig in after the early wickets. Credit goes to the way I practice and my preparation. That gives me confidence. I’m taking the right decisions more often.’
‘The bowlers did a good job, especially when we didn’t get the runs,’ said Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza. ‘Mushi and Mithun batted really well and we can be proud of our fielding today. Long time we haven’t seen this quality of fielding in our time, so hopefully the boys can understand the value of good fielding. We still need to improve a bit of our batting and bowling. I was lucky that I didn’t drop my catch, because Shoaib Malik was in such good form, but all over the fielding was really good.’
Photo: Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images