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Pakistan crush Bangladesh by 70 runs
R Eswar | June 08, 2008 20:39 IST
Last Updated: June 09, 2008 00:29 IST
Pakistan bulldozed Bangladesh by 70 runs in a rain-curtailed tri-series opener to extend their unbeaten run in one-day internationals to 12, at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka, on Sunday.
Riding on sparkling half-centuries by Salman Butt [Images] (70) and Mohammad Yousuf [Images] (59), Pakistan scored a challenging 233 before folding in 39.3 overs, after being sent in to bat in a 40-40 affair.
They then restricted their opponents to 163 for eight in their quota of 40 overs to register their 12th consecutive win.
Flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi [Images] (3/19) and left-arm paceman Wahab Riaz (3/22) swung their arms to good effect, sharing six wickets between them, breaking the spine of Bangladesh's batting.
The hosts' skipper Mohammad Ashraful [Images] was the only batsman who put up resistance, though he was not his usual attacking self.. He remained unbeaten on 56 and strangely played the last over of the match as a maiden, bowled by Younis Khan.
Shahriar Nafees (9) and Tamim Iqbal provided a steady, if not flamboyant, start to Bangladesh's innings against a good Pakistan attack, led by Umar Gul and Sohail Tanvir [Images].
The opening pair put up 35 runs before Riaz, who was playing only his second one-day match, had Nafees caught behind the wickets.
Iqbal joined his partner in the dressing room soon when Afridi beat him in the air and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal did not waste anytime to dislodge his stumps.
Ashraful stood at one end watching his teammates coming and going as Raqibul Hasan (8) too started his walk back to the pavilion, becoming second victim of Riaz.
The first three batsmen succumbed to casual shots, not helping the hosts in any way to build partnerships, needed to get close to the big target.
Soon the Bangladeshis were tottering at 77 for four, with Afridi dismissing Alok Kapali for a naught as the batsman failed to negotiate a faster delivery and drew the ball on to his leg stump.
Bangladesh were heading for a defeat from here as their batsmen lacked passion and fire needed to overhaul the big target.
Umar Gul then dealt a twin-blow to the hosts, removing Mamudulla and Mashrafe Mortaza [Images] in the 30th over of the innings.
Earlier, Pakistan got off to a solid start, with Butt and Kamran Akmal (25) adding 75 runs in 12 overs.
Though Akmal and Younis Khan (0) departed off successive balls, Yousuf chipped in with a 56-ball 59 and Misbah looked still in Twenty20 mode as he creamed 39 runs off 22 balls to help Pakistan cruise past the 200-mark in the 35th over.
Bangladesh, however, did well to put a skids by claiming wickets at regular intervals, with Abdur Razzak (3-35), Alok Kapali (3-49) and Mashrafe Mortaza (2-36) sharing eight wickets among themselves.
Butt and Akmal began well, mixing caution with aggression, and the left-hander, who eventually notched up his sixth successive 50-plus score, was in the thick of things as he came down hard on Shahadat Hossain, while Dolar Mahmud did not go unpunished either.
The debutant, however, drew first blood in the 12th over when Akmal slashed at Dolar and an airborne Mushfiqur Rahim took a spectacular catch behind the stumps.
Younis fell in the next ball following a mix-up with Butt but once Yousuf joined the left-hander in the middle, the hosts found it difficult to stem the run flow.
The duo maintained a healthy run rate till Butt fell to Kapali after an 84-ball 70 that included 10 hits to the fence.
Afridi (20 off 17 balls) sizzled briefly before Kapali dealt a double blow by removing the right-hander and Yousuf off successive balls.
Yousuf's 56-ball 59 included seven boundaries.
Razzak then got the better of Shoaib Malik's [Images] (9) defence, and two runs later, the rampaging Misbah was trapped by Mortaza. And by the time they scored four more runs, the entire Pakistan side had folded with three balls still to go in their innings.