WC: Pakistan made a successful recovery with a convincing seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh
By siliconindia | Wednesday, 01 November 2023, 09:14:39 AM IST
Pakistan, who had been facing problems both on and off the pitch, managed to make a comeback in the ICC Men's ODI World Cup at the Eden Gardens by defeating Bangladesh with seven wickets and 105 balls to spare. Despite all the issues, Babar Azam's team put up a clinical performance and secured their third win in seven matches, moving to fifth place in the standings. Fakhar Zaman and Abdullah Shafique played an essential role in Pakistan's batting efforts, scoring authoritative fifties, after Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bat first.
In the first innings, Shaheen Shah Afridi (3-23), Mohammad Wasim (3-31), and Haris Rauf (2-36) were the pick of Pakistan bowlers, as the pacers rallied together for the Men in Green to bowl Bangladesh all out for a paltry total of 204. For Bangladesh, seasoned batter Mahmudullah (56), who struck a half-century after a century against South Africa, and Shakib Al Hasan (43) showed a fight with the bat. In reply, Pakistan reached 205/3 in just 32.3 overs fourth time that they have won a men's ODI World Cup game with over 100 balls to spare.
During the first Power-play, Fakhar Zaman showcased his relentless form by smacking four boundaries for Pakistan. He hit two excellent sixes off the bowling of Taskin Ahmed and Mehidy Hasan Miraz respectively. Abdullah Shafique, his partner, also contributed to the score by collecting four stylish fours of his own in the first 10 overs. Mehidy Hasan Miraz eventually took a wicket for Bangladesh in the 22nd over when he trapped Abdullah Shafique's leg-before for 68. However, Fakhar and Babar Azam ensured that Pakistan stayed on track.
In the first innings, Pakistan was right on the mark courtesy of an incisive spell from Shaheen Afridi. He pinned Tanzid Hasan's leg before off the fifth ball of the game. The batter reviewed, but it turned out that the ball was clipping the top of his leg stump. In the very next over, Shaheen Afridi had the out-of-form Najmul Hossain Shanto caught at forward square leg. Usama Mir took a sharp catch at the position to give Pakistan their second breakthrough. Litton Das tried to pick up the pace for Bangladesh with a flurry of boundaries against Haris Rauf. However, it was the pacer who had the last laugh, when he got the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim to nick one behind the wicket.
After the first Power-play, Das and Mahmudullah took charge and hit a stream of boundaries. Their intent was backed by some erratic Pakistan bowling. The duo went at almost six an over between overs 11-20. Against the run of play, Das gifted his wicket to Iftikhar Ahmed after he chipped one of his deliveries to the mid-wicket fielder. Bangladesh batted conservatively over the next few overs, as Shakib Al Hasan tried to get in. Just when the batters looked like they were getting set, Mahmudullah (56) was cleaned up by a beauty from Shaheen.
Bangladesh finally picked up once more, when Shakib hit a hat-trick of boundaries in the 37th over against Iftikhar Ahmed. However, any hopes of a Bangladesh resurgence ended when Shakib mistimed a pull-off Haris Rauf and fell for 43. Pakistan, on the other hand, went in with three changes. Fakhar Zaman, Salman Agha and Usama Mir were in for Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan. Bright starts for Pakistan and Bangladesh have all but faded away as both sides barely remain in contention for the knockout stage of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.
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