Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com
Bangladesh national team started the Super Four stage of their Asia Cup 2023 campaign on wrong foot as they lost to Pakistan by seven wickets at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Wednesday.
The Tigers failed to replicate their batting effort from their last game against Afghanistan as they were bundled out for 193 despite the wicket being conducive to batting, on several cases courtesy of their careless decision-making.
Skipper Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim managed to hit fifties but failed to convert them into bigger scores.
Haris Rauf picked up four wickets for the two-time Asia Cup winners, while Naseem Shah picked up three.
In reply, Bangladesh bowlers tried to keep Pakistan at bay and often strangled the hosts’ batting effort by keeping the run-flow in check, but the meagre total they had to defend meant Pakistan reached the target with 63 balls to spare.
Imam-ul-Haq top-scored for Pakistan with 78 while Mohammad Rizwan made an unbeaten 63.
After Shakib opted to bat first, Bangladesh came out to bat with the same opening pair from the previous match – Mohammad Naim and Mehidy Hasan Miraz.
However, Mehidy could not find success in his makeshift role for the second match running, and was out for a golden duck.
Liton Das, who came in to replace the injured and Bangladesh’s top-scorer in the tournament, Najmul Hossain Shanto, played some glorious drives but was sent back by Shaheen Shah Afridi for 16.
Naim also failed to capitalise on his start, falling for 20 to Haris. Youngster Towhid Hridoy (2) was the next to go, leaving Bangladesh at 47-4, as he was overpowered by Haris’ pace.
From there, Shakib (53) and Mushfiq (64) started a rebuilding job as they added 100 runs for the fifth wicket but the former then threw his wicket away trying to clear the boundary.
Neither Shamim Hossain (16) nor Afif Hossain (12) could manage to contribute anything meaningful, and Mushfiq’s dismissal in between meant Bangladesh were bundled out for a subpar 193.
Bangladesh bowlers maintained tight lines from the start of the Pakistan chase and they could have had a good start if Naim managed to hold to Fakhar Zaman’s catch off Shoriful’s bowling in the fourth over.
Shoriful managed to trap Fakhar (20) leg before wicket in the final over of the first powerplay, and then Taskin removed Babar Azam (17) to give Bangladesh some hope.
However, Imam managed to survive three close reviews, and guided the Pakistan chase, and was aided by Rizwan in the middle.
The duo added 85 runs for the third wicket before Mehidy bowled the former. Rizwan, though, stayed unbeaten and took his team home.