PHOTOS: Pakistan beat Bangladesh in Asia Cup thriller
Spin trio Mohammed Hafeez (2-40), Saeed Ajmal (2-45) and Shahid Afridi (2-49) struck crucial blows to help Pakistan edge past Bangladesh in a close encounter in their Asia Cup opener in Mirpur on Sunday.
Chasing 263 to win, Bangladesh's chase was guided by opener Tamim Iqbal's crafty 64 but the hosts could not make the best use of his innings. Iqbal along with opener Nazimuddin (30) and Jahurul Islam (23) shared two 45-run stands each for the first and second wickets.
Hafeez struck twice in two balls in the 29th over as he bowled Iqbal in the third ball and trapped Mahmudullah in the next to reduce Bangladesh to 135 for five.
Image: Pakistan's captain Misbah-ul-Haq congratulates Mohammad Hafeez (right) after picking a wicket
Shakib ran out of partners
Reeling at 135 for five at one stage, Shakib Al Hasan (64) and Nasir Hossain (47) fought back to pose a threat to the Pakistanis.
They weaved an 89-run stand for the sixth wicket and it looked good to take Bangladesh across the finish line.
However, the hosts flattered to deceive and lacked the batting firepower in the end to be dismissed for 241 in 48.1 overs.Shakib was still fighting from one end but ran short of partners. Shakib was the last man out, bowled by Gul in the first ball of the 49th over.
Image: Bangladesh Tamim Iqbal (right) leaves the field as Pakistan's fielders celebrate
Pakistan put up challenging total
Earlier, openers Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed struck half centuries but it was Umar Gul's late hitting that lifted Pakistan to 262-8 in the opening match of the Asia Cup against Bangladesh in Mirpur on Sunday.
Hafeez (89 off 126 balls) and Jamshed (54 off 64) put on 135 runs for the opening wicket in just 28 overs, but Shahdat Hossain (3/53) and Shakib Al Hasan (2/41) struck at regular intervals to help the hosts crawl back into the match.
Bangladesh won the toss and elected to field first. The bowlers didn't give any freebies to the batsman and made them toil for the runs.
Image: Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez (left) and Nasir Jamshed run between the wickets
Bangladesh shine in the field
Jamshed was the more aggressive of the two as he found the fence five times, besides hitting a six.
Hafeez was content to rotate the strike while hitting the occasional boundaries.
But with time both batsmen found their feet and took the challenge to the bowlers.But Bangladesh players fielded like champions, working hard to restrict the Pakistani batsmen. Their effort in the field payed off when, skipper Rahim Mushfiqur ran the batsman out after receiving a throw from Shakib.
Image: Bangladesh's wicketkeeper and captain Mushfiqur Rahim (left) runs out Pakistan's Nasir Jamshed
Pakistan innings suffers collapse in middle overs
Younis Khan came in at No 3 and put on a 25-run stand with Hafeez before the Pakistan veteran skied one to Abdur Razzaq off the bowling of Shahadat Hossain.
This caused a collapse in the Pakistani batting and from 160 for two in the 33rd over, they were struggling at 198 for seven.But thanks to some big blows at the death courtesy Umar Gul (39 off 25) Pakistan managed to extend their total to a respectable 262-8.
Image: Bangladesh's Shahadat Hossain celebrates his dismissal of Pakistan's Younis Khan