Bangladesh v Pakistan, Asia Cup, Mirpur March 4, 2014

Sensational Afridi seals final berth


Pakistan 329 for 7 (Shehzad 103, Alam 74, Afridi 59, Hafeez 52) beat Bangladesh 326 for 3 (Anamul 100, Kayes 59, Mominul 51, Mushfiqur 51* ) by three wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Agarkar: Afridi unstoppable in this form

Ahmed Shehzad's fifth ODI century set it up, but Pakistan needed special innings from Fawad Alam and Shahid Afridi, who blazed an 18-ball fifty, to pull off their highest chase in ODIs and book a place in the Asia Cup final, against Sri Lanka.

Afridi ransacked 59 off 25 balls, hitting seven sixes during a 69-run stand for the sixth wicket with Fawad Alam that took only 5.3 overs. They resurrected a flagging Pakistan chase, after Bangladesh had surpassed expectations to post 326 for 3, their best ODI score. The game was decided with only one ball to spare.

Bangladesh's bowling and fielding let them down - they were sloppy on the boundary and Mushfiqur Rahim dropped Afridi on 52 in the final moments - and they failed to defend 300-plus for the first time in four attempts.

Pakistan's chase was led by Shehzad, who made 103 off 123 balls, accelerating after a sedate start and adding 105 runs for the fourth wicket with Fawad at 6.70 per over. He fell in the 39th over, and after the curious promotion of Abdur Rehman as pinch-hitter failed, only Afridi could make or break the game. Pakistan needed 102 off 52 balls, and he smote the ball so hard and far during an assault that will not be forgotten by those at the Shere Bangla Stadium. Several faces in the crowd revealed anguish as Afridi bludgeoned the home side.

Between overs 41.2 overs and 46.5, when he was finally run out, Afridi launched sixes over long on, extra cover, long off, midwicket and fine leg. Five of his seven sixes came in his first nine deliveries. His stand with Fawad came at 12.54 an over. He took the bowling and Mirpur by surprise. During the onslaught from Afridi and Fawad, Mahmudullah gave 16 in an over, Shakib 20, Shafiul 16 and Razzak 18 as the asking rate plummeted in the last ten overs.

When Afridi was dismissed, struggling with cramp, Pakistan still needed 33 off 19 but Fawad stepped up, clouting Razzak twice over the midwicket boundary to kill the contest. The turnaround Afridi engineered had been so sudden because Pakistan had lost their way after a 97-run first wicket stand between Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez, as three wickets fell for eight runs.

Unlike their bowling that fell apart, however, Bangladesh's batting had been impeccable. For the first time since the Fatullah chase against New Zealand in November last year, every batsman's plans worked.

Anamul's century played the central role and he made sure Pakistan were denied early wickets. Despite his reputation as a shot-maker, his 132-ball knock was chanceless, and he played second fiddle during the early stages of his 150-run opening stand with Imrul Kayes, who rode his luck to score a half-century in his comeback game. Kayes was dropped on 0 in the first over and survived a close leg-before appeal in the seventh, but he still looked for boundaries. Anamul caught up with him, and the pair laid into Pakistan during two hitting sprees.

Imrul struck Afridi for two sixes over midwicket while Anamul attacked Mohammad Talha, Pakistan's best bowler from the match against India. In the 16th over, Anamul moved from 41 to 57 with three consecutive boundaries - a six, a four and another six - all with the pull shot. It ruined Misbah's plans because Pakistan had already lost Abdur Rehman because he bowled three beamers before he had delivered a single legal delivery.

It got worse when Saeed Ajmal and Afridi struggled too, and Umar Gul was poor in the slog overs. Anamul reached his hundred in the 39th over but got out soon after. He had laid the platform and then watched Mushfiqur Rahim and Mominul Haque reach fifties, and Shakib smash 44 off 16 balls after returning from a three-match ban. Bangladesh took 121 runs off the last ten overs but even that was not enough to survive a battering from Afridi.

This loss will hurt Bangladesh as much as the one against Afghanistan did and they have only pride to play for in the final league game against Sri Lanka. Pakistan, on the other hand, were deserving finalists, having clinched last-over finished against both India and Bangladesh.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shah on March 10, 2014, 4:12 GMT

    @Jugg3rNAuts: Its better you say that your thinking is more than worse i feel pity of your so called thoughts against BD!! i wonder does your country even play cricket & you are from which country or planet & you came to judge BD & even comparing with AFG after a huge unexpected UPSET..this is your knowledge about cricket.

  • JuggerNAuts on March 7, 2014, 4:40 GMT

    @Ammo666 , where did i deny my comments? Yes BD is playing Cricket for more than not 20 bt 30 years infact, and they played test in 2000 only because before that they did'nt even win a single game againt a test playing major nation try to accept the fact that BD is worse than afghanistan and zimbabwe

  • Zeeshan on March 6, 2014, 22:00 GMT

    Biased , pathetic n third class umpiring ... what a shame for ICC

  • Shah on March 6, 2014, 18:37 GMT

    @Jugg3rNAuts: did you even read well what i wrote if you did then its hard for you to read english i guess..where did i say that BD playing cricket for more than 20 years its "you" who your own comment again if you can understand what you wrote then reply..& by saying 2000 i meant they played their first INTERNATIONAL test...& please check that the misbehaving crowd was either PAK or BD or both so you are repeating...

    @smzamir: you did not get me at all i did not mean anywhere PAK is pathetic because i myself like to watch their INT matches..about BD going too far based on their form you are right especially comparing their last series with SL... BD lost to PAK at the end it was just due to lack of experience & bad bowling change captaincy nothing more...& this BD team enough young to hold their nerve till the end in BIG & crucial moments but couldn't finish & incomplete playing with top asian teams in this Asia cup but still the...everyone has their good & bad times

  • Mehul on March 6, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    @Muhammad, guess a better cricketing record than Ind in all format didn't help Pak in their rating, don't you just hate that :) Pardon me for being jealous and being human, but I had to answer a lot of Pak fans hating or "jealous" on India only because they make more $$, have a superstar like status and overall BCCI head just became the most powerful man in cricket. Ind is going through the same phase what Aus went through after being world champions. But with the talent we possess its only a matter of time before we rise again. On the other hand we've have always love Pak Ind match, Pak played better so they won, we accept, we don't call them pathetic, never will, guess you don't know how big Akram, Younis, Imran even Sohaib Akhtar are in India. Akram is, was and always will be one of the best bowler in the history of cricket. But at the same time we will not sit quiet to any fans hating on my team just because Ind lost a few matches.

  • Android on March 6, 2014, 13:28 GMT

    Afridi is nothing more than a slogger. He hits the ball hard and if other is his day it hits. If not he just got out cheap. He can be a match winner when it clicks. but he is not a good batsman like Viral, Sanga or Sachin.

  • Sufia on March 6, 2014, 12:05 GMT

    @Ammo666: who expected AFG beating BD to be an upset? Ive been following the analysis on cricinfo ever since the tournament started, and all of the experts here predicted that BD would never get very far "based on their form". and IF Pakistan is sooo pathetic as you claim, how come BD has not won one single match against us, barring the 1999 ODI we gifted u as a charity? How many tests have you won since you got your test status? 4? 5? Wow, what a record - Pakistan won its second test, that too against India. How do you even begin to describe a team that cant even defend 326 runs against a side that is renowned for being bad chasers?

  • Dummy4 on March 6, 2014, 8:01 GMT

    @ Biplob.Syed .. Ya sakib could have 50 but he didn't .. There are no if's and but's in any sport ... Winner's have victories and losers have reasons .. well if you want to compare? afridi was on 35 at 9 balls ..he could just hit 3 boundries and get 50 on 12 balls.. where sakib was on 28 at 9 balls... So don't do if's and but's ... Just check the records.. :)

  • Akhtar on March 6, 2014, 5:56 GMT

    Congratulations to Pakistan team. Brilliant Afridi broke the hearts of all the Bangladeshis, Indians and many other Pakistan haters including the umpires. Pakistan would have won both the matches easily had the umpires been neutral. Pakistan won both their last two group matches against heavy odds. Umpires in both the matches tried their best to make Pakistan lose but could not succeed because God was on Pakistan's side.

  • JuggerNAuts on March 6, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    @AMMO666 I am not supporting Pakistan , i am a cricket fan and i love all good players (Except some overrated fellas) you are saying Bangladesh started cricket in 2000 are u kidding me? Your first board was formed in 1972 and in 1980 Pakistan went to Bangladesh but misbehavior of crowd in Chittagong aborted the match and also tour , so this is not new you are just repeating history