Bangladesh v Pakistan, Asia Cup, Mirpur March 5, 2014

Bangladesh batsmen show bite

Despite the loss to Pakistan, Bangladesh's batting showed marked improvements and would need to continue if they are to finally win a match in 2014

At the halfway stage, Bangladesh had erected their highest ODI total, and were on a high after lashing 121 runs in the final 10 overs. Their bowling, however, brought them back to earth as everything came undone in the face of a Shahid Afridi onslaught.

The required run-rate was a shade under 11 when the final 10 overs began. Mushfiqur Rahim had banked on his spinners to coax it upward but Mahmudullah leaked 16 in the 42nd over and Shakib Al Hasan, their best bowler, was flayed for three sixes in the 43rd. The switch to pace proved just as disastrous as Shafiul Islam was carved for 16 in the 45th. Abdur Razzak's experience proved for little as he was slogged for 18 in the 48th. And by now Pakistan's equation was a very manageable 13 off 12 balls.

The loss hid vital improvements in Bangladesh's batting performance, none more pleasing than Anamul Haque's second ODI century which formed the bulk of a 150-run opening stand with Imrul Kayes. That platform allowed Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib to rake in 121 runs in the last ten overs.

Imrul was one of five changes in the Bangladesh XI and the experiment almost backfired in the very first over, but Ahmed Shehzad spilled one at slip. With that slice of good fortune, Imrul constructed a busy half-century when he was constantly on the lookout for runs, whether through boundaries square on the off side or through ones and twos. He has looked an improved batsman since the Chittagong Test against Sri Lanka and was a key component of Bangladesh establishing their second highest opening partnership, and their first since the Kayes-Shahriar Nafees stand against New Zealand in 2010.

Anamul caught up as he began finding the boundaries with greater frequency and was once again severe on the opposition's fastest bowler. Mohammad Talha, like Varun Aaron, was handled with disdain as Anamul collected 31 runs off 19 balls, including three fours and two sixes. But one area where he needs serious work is his consistency. He made a fifty against India, missed out against Afghanistan but again played well against Pakistan, a syndrome that has followed him from the Sri Lanka ODIs earlier last month.

Mominul has also developed a recent habit of succumbing after being well-set, although on Tuesday he lost his wicket in the search for quick runs. His timing has been brilliant since the New Zealand series and came in handy as Bangladesh made healthy progress in the middle overs. By the time he was dismissed at 204 for 2, the team was in their best position after the fall of two wickets since 1999.

Mushfiqur and Anamul kept the trend going, taking Bangladesh to their best position for the loss of three wickets. Then Shakib joined his captain, and the pair added 77 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket partnership, at a dizzy 13.58 per over to record the fastest 50-plus Bangladesh partnership ever.

Bangladesh's defence began well in the early overs, but they could not prevent a 97-run stand for the opening wicket between Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez, a best for Pakistan in the last 12 months.

Shehzad added another 105 runs with Fawad Alam for the fourth wicket, even more crucial given that it came after the loss of Hafeez, Misbah-ul-Haq and Sohaib Maqsood for just eight runs. That set things up for Afridi as he and Alam carved 69 runs for the sixth wicket - their fastest partnership in the last three years. On the all-time list, this was the eighth fastest 50-plus stand for the team.

When Afridi struck five sixes in quick succession, the Bangladesh bowlers slumped to new lows. The batsmen, however, have showed desire, particularly Anamul whose progress has been significant since a lacklustre series against New Zealand. If Bangladesh are to break their 2014 duck in the next match against Sri Lanka, the team would expect exactly this approach from the batsmen, and hope the bowlers offer better assistance.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 6, 2014, 7:45 GMT

    The match between Bangladesh and Sri lanka is a real test for Banglades to prove themselves because in this match the umpiring hopefully will be neutral and there will be no favoritism of any sort. Also Bangladesh is participating with its full strength, I mean the best of the bests will be included in the team. But I have a feeling and fear that Sri Lanka may also be victimized by the poor quality (wrong decisions) and favoritism of the umpires and it they may end up with loosing the match. This is the last match for Bangladesh to play as host and they need to win it, otherwise the situation in the country will upside down as far as cricket is concerned. It will be very embaracing for them to loose this match because the people will raise their finger at them for not winning a single match at their own home ground.

  • Dummy4 on March 6, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    First of all let me be clear about what I said in my last comment. I remember saying that nobody spoke a word about the umpiring, nobody means that none of the officials from Bangladesh Cricket Board, Player of either side, PCCB and the ICC.

    I wish Bangladeh best of luck to but of course not wiining the match by foul play or through favoritism of any sorts. I have a feeling and fear that the umpires will favor Bangladesh in this match too because BD is a home team and it is very insulting and embarrasing for them not to win a single match at their home ground before home corwds including thousands of fans. The supervising umpires would be under a tons of pressure and may surrender to the pressure by favoring Bangladesh. Any team can make tons and tons of scores if the batsmen are not given out by the umpires. It does not mean at all that the players performance is good. The real test of players is neutrality of umpires and it is only possible when the technology is used.

  • Dummy4 on March 6, 2014, 4:49 GMT

    @ Abba, well said. Nobody said a word about umpiring. It was really below the standards and I remember one of the commentator saying that it seems PAK TEAM is playing against a team of 13 i.e 11 PLAYERS+2 UMPIRES. In this match the umpires were one sided, they favored Bangladesh without a shadow of doubt. In Banglandesh inning a clear cut LBW was rejected by the umpire despite of a lowed shout and appeal by the XI. This helped Bangladesh team and the player to build a high score. In Pakistan innings, the player Sohaib didn't even touch the ball but umpire declared him out because of a loud appeal by the Bangladeshi players. I would not say that the empires were biased but I will not hesitate to acknowledge that the umpires are incapable & the quality of umpiring was very poor, may be they were under some sort of pressure. Technonlogy proved them wrong , I'm not reluctant to accept that despite of all negatives, the PAK TEAM accepted the challege and won the game with honor n respect.

  • Suj on March 5, 2014, 23:53 GMT

    Amazing how the Bangladesh fans seem to have missed these umpiring errors that have worked in their favour. If this had happened against them, they would have been in uproar whinging about how that was the only reason for their loss! Learn from a real classy team like Pakistan. Gets umpiring errors against them often, laugh them off and still win games! Let's see when Bangladesh wins their first game of 2014. Hopefully it will be before 2015 begins :-P Ha ha ha ...

  • Android on March 5, 2014, 19:17 GMT

    Bangladesh wapsi totally negative while fielding especially their keeper who was just shouting erogantly and was not sincere with his job. to confirm This u can check the Pak ve bd match. the catch of sohaib and the second time the catch of shahzad even shahzad had started looking at him when he was appeling for not outs Again and Again. so sad they didnt show the sportsman spirit. now i hope with all my heart that bd loose always even if they play with a school's cricket time. they have left so bad impression on me. during the whole Series i wanted them to win the matches against afg. india but now i pray with all my heart that they loose always always till eternity.

  • Android on March 5, 2014, 18:06 GMT

    Bangladesh team and their crowd were totally negative in Pak match. if u don't belive rhen watch the match Again.

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2014, 16:45 GMT

    why drop Shamsur Rahman ?

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2014, 15:09 GMT

    Sandt makes an excellent point. Afridi is in his groove and it would be wise to Keep Abdur Rehman in the crease. Without Afridi's murderous onslaught, the game was in BD's pocket. But Mushy has no cricketing brains. He is a good batsman , but no idea how to effectively rotate his bowlers or strategise otherwise. He also refuses to consult with anybody. Only Mashrafe showed original thinking when he was captaining the side in one game. Rotated the bowlers well. Mushy keeps passing the ball to the same bowler over and over again. Anyways, that's all in the past. Tomorrow is another day. Lets plan for tomorrow.

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    I have no idea why ZIA and SUNNY is not in the t20 squad. And why Mahmadullah And Reza is in the squad.

  • Sandeep on March 5, 2014, 9:09 GMT

    BD should have dropped the catch of Abdulrehman to save the match. This should have been the advise captain should been given to the team. Pak has almost done the blunder by sending Abdulrehman ahead of Afridi and Akmal. I am sure if it was Srilanka they should have planned this to keep Abdul kader in the middle and delay these batsmen to crease. You should be shrewd in these kind of things BD.

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