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04-Mar-2014 16:16:00 GMT
Bangladesh v Pakistan, Asia Cup, Mirpur

Afridi's Blitzkrieg Takes Pakistan into Final

Dhaka: Shahid Afridi's brilliant blitzkrieg proved too hot for Bangladesh to handle as Pakistan registered a thrilling 3-wicket win that knocked India out of the Asia Cup.

Afridi (59 off 25) hit 2 smashing boundaries and 7 scintillating sixes in his stupendous innings that also involved quick-fire 69-run partnership with Fawad Alam, who himself scored a 70-ball 74 to seal the match for Pakistan.

Afridi reached his half-century in just 18 balls thereby equalling his own record for the second fastest one-day international half-century.

Pakistan seemed to lose the plot in their 327-run chase as they lost quick wickets; however, the arrival of Afridi turned to be the game-changer as his onslaught resurrected Pakistan after the dismissal of centurion Ahmed Shehzad.

Abdur Razzak gave Bangladesh the much-needed breakthrough when his yorker was too good for Shehzad (103) to handle and he was comprehensively bowled.

Shehzad hit 12 boundaries and one six in his innings that also involved a swift 105-plus run partnership for the 4th wicket with Fawad Alam. Pakistan were jolted earlier when Mominul Haque struck twice in quick succession.

Mohammad Hafeez (52) was the first to be dismissed soon after he hit his fifty when Mominul forced him to mistime a loopy ball towards long-on where it was comfortably taken by Imrul Kayes.

Hafeez reached his half-century with the help of 8 boundaries and also put up a determined 97-run partnership for the opening wicket with Shehzad.

Soon after, Misbah-ul-Haq (4) returned to the pavilion when Shakib Al Hasan breached the Pakistan skipper's defences and got the better of his stumps.

Mominul then dismissed Sohaib Maqsood (2) when the Pakistan batsman tried to cut the ball but instead was caught by wicket-keeper Anamul Haque.

Earlier, Bangladesh feasted on a below bowling and fielding effort from Pakistan to pile up their highest-ever ODI total of 326 for three in a must-win game.

While opener Anamul Haque build the foundation with a patient 100 off 132 balls with six fours and four sixes, it was their senior-most stars Mushfiqur Rahim (51 no, 33 balls) and Shakib al Hasan (44 no, 16 balls), who finished the innings with a smashing 77-run partnership in only 5.3 overs.

Opener Imrul Kayes (59 from 75 balls; 5x4, 2x6) who added 150 runs for the opening stand with Anamul and Mominul Haque (51 off 47 balls) also made useful contributions to prop up Bangladesh total.

Returning from a three-match suspension, premier all-rounder Shakib's innings was studded with six fours and two sixes as Bangladesh scored 68 runs in the last five overs to eclipse their previous best score of 320/8 against Zimbabwe during their tour of 2009.

Skipper Rahim also struck eight fours while Mominul with six boundaries also made their presence felt with eye-catching knocks.

Earlier, Bangladesh have won the toss and elect to bat.

Bangladesh made five changes with Shakib Al Hasan.

For Pakistan Sharjeel Khan is sitting out with injury, so Fawad Alam is in. Abdur Rehman takes the place of Junaid Khan.


Imrul Kayes, Anamul Haque (wk), Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim (capt.), Shakib Al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Ziaur Rahman, Mahmudullah, Abdur Razzak, Shafiul Islam, Al-Amin Hossain

Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt.), Umar Akmal (wk), Fawad Alam, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Talha, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman

Brief scores
326/3 (Anamul Haque 100, Imrul Kayes 59,    Mushfiqur Rahim 51*, Mominul Haque 51)
Pakistan 329/7 (Ahmed Shehzad 103, Fawad Alam 74, Shahid Afridi 59, Mohammad Hafeez 52)
Result Pakistan won by three wickets
Points Pakistan 4, Bangladesh 0

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