Abu Dhabi: Mushfiqur Rahim fell one short of a century before Mustafizur Rahman and Mehidy Hasan excelled with the ball as Bangladesh beat Pakistan by 37 runs to seal their place in the Asia Cup final against India.
The Tigers suffered a huge blow when Shakib Al Hasan flew home with a fractured finger, but they put that setback behind them to win a decisive last Super Four contest in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (September 26).
A fourth-wicket stand of 144 between Mushfiqur (99) and Mohammad Mithun rescued Bangladesh after the excellent Junaid Khan, in for Mohammad Amir, struck twice early on to leave them in the mire on 12-3.
Junaid claimed outstanding figures of 4-19 from nine overs, yet Mushfiqur and Mithun (60) ensured the underdogs posted 239 all out.
That proved to be too many for the ICC Champions Trophy holders to chase down despite a patient 83 from Imam-ul-Haq, Mustafizur (4-43) and Mehidy (2-28) doing the business for Bangladesh as Pakistan fell short on 202-9.
A third Asia Cup final looked unlikely for Mushfiqur's side when Junaid did early damage, the left-arm quick bowling Liton Das with a peach of a delivery which shaped away to hit the off top of off stump after dismissing Soumya Sarkar.
Earlier, Shaheen Afridi (2-47) cleaned up Mominul Haque before Das was sent on his way, but Mushfiqur and Mithun frustrated Pakistan, the wicketkeeper-batsman finding the boundary on both sides of the wicket and riding his luck.
Mithun found the ropes four times before he was caught and bowled by Hasan Ali and Mushfiqur fell agonisingly short of a seventh one-day international hundred, but Mahmudullah added 25 and Mashrafe Mortaza struck the only six of the innings in the penultimate over.
Pakistan made a terrible start to their run chase, Fakhar Zaman driving Mehidy to Rubel Hossain at mid-on in the first over before Mustafizur saw the back of Babar Azam and Sarfraz Ahmed cheaply.
The mature Imam and Shoaib Malik put on 67 for the fourth wicket but the in-form all-rounder fell for 30 in the 21st over when Mortaza rose to take a brilliant catch at midwicket, giving Rubel a first wicket.
Pakistan were 94-5 at the halfway mark when Shadab Khan fell to Sarkar, but Imam brought up his half-century from 74 balls and Asif Ali (31) offered some support for the opener in a sixth-wicket stand of 71.
It was very much advantage the Tigers when Das stumped Asif and Imam off Mehidy and Mahmudullah respectively, then Mustafizur doubled his wicket tally to leave Pakistan on the brink of defeat at 186-9, leaving the final pair of Shaheen and Junaid with far too much to do.
Bangladesh will be out for revenge when they face the holders in a repeat of the 2016 decider in Dubai on Friday.