Bangladesh v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Mirpur December 1, 2011

Afridi's five leads rout of Bangladesh

149

Pakistan 93 for 5 in 25.4 overs (Afridi 24*, Rubel Hossain 2-23) beat Bangladesh 91 in 30.3 overs (Nasir Hossain 21, Afridi 5-23) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Pakistan's battery of spinners used the considerable bounce and turn in the Mirpur pitch to exploit the inadequate temperaments and techniques of Bangladesh's batsmen, routing them for 91 to set up what should have been a facile victory in the first of three one-day internationals. It wasn't. Pakistan made a mess of chasing the small target, which Bangladesh defended spiritedly. They lost more wickets and took longer than they would have liked, as the match sparked to life before victory was finally achieved with plenty of overs to spare.

To subdue and wreck Bangladesh, Misbah-ul-Haq used four spinners - Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik and Saeed Ajmal - for 22.3 out of 30.3 overs, and they had combined figures of 8 for 56. Though Afridi emerged the star, taking his seventh five-wicket haul in ODIs, the Bangladesh innings was rotting before he came on to bowl. Pakistan's chase had also begun to rot when Afridi came to bat at 63 for 5 in the 18th over. His innings wasn't pretty, but it cured Pakistan of the yips and secured the series lead.

The match began with Mushfiqur Rahim wining the toss, but little went right for Bangladesh after that. It was inevitable that Hafeez would take the first new ball, especially with two left-hand openers, and he had immediate success. Tamim Iqbal, who returned to the team after recovering from a knee injury, moved across his stumps and was trapped on the back foot by a delivery that darted into him from round the wicket. Hafeez's wicket maiden set the tone for the rest of the innings.

Umar Gul had first use of the other new ball, and though there was little assistance from the pitch for the fast bowler, the Bangladesh batsmen couldn't get the ball off the square. They had scored only 2 after 5.2 overs when Naeem Islam hit one past Gul to the straight boundary. He edged the next ball to slip.

Against spin, Bangladesh were stagnant. Hafeez tormented Shahriar Nafees, who would score only 2 off his first 23 deliveries. He found the left-hand batsman's outside edge three times - two fell short of Younis Khan at first slip, and one flew wide.

Bangladesh doubled their score in the eighth over, which they began on 8 for 2. Gul bowled a high bouncer over Mushfiqur's head for five wides, and was clipped towards deep square leg for three. The first proper forceful shot was in the tenth over, when Nafees cut Gul to the backward-point boundary. Bangladesh were 26 for 2 after the mandatory Powerplay.

Misbah then made a double bowling change, bringing on the legspinner Afridi and the offspinner Malik. It was Malik who struck first, getting Mushfiqur to edge an attempted cut to the wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed; the extra bounce was the Bangladesh captain's undoing. Afridi then struck twice. In his second over, the 13th of the innings, Afridi used the extra bounce to have Nafees caught at point while trying to cut off. Two balls later he bowled a legbreak that spun sharply and took the outside edge of Mahmudullah's forward defence. Bangladesh were 31 for 5 and the world's No.1 one-day bowler, Ajmal, hadn't been used yet.

Shakib Al Hasan and Nasir Hossain began to repair the substantial damage but they had miles to go to get the job done. They didn't get far. Their partnership was worth 36 when Hossain attempted to pull a delivery from Aizaz Cheema that wasn't that short. Hossain was unbalanced as he made contact and the top edge swirled towards square leg, where Sarfraz held it.

Only Shakib remained for Bangladesh and he too fell to the cut, caught at point off Afridi. At 71 for 7, the end was only a matter of time. Afridi took two more to complete his five-for, and didn't even stop to celebrate his success with his trademark star-man pose.

There was little sign of the tension that would briefly grip Pakistan's chase when their openers came out before the session break and added 36 in nine overs. Imran Farhat then played on to Nasir Hossain, beginning a phase in which four wickets fell in four successive overs for eight runs. Younis Khan was perhaps unlucky to be given caught behind but the rest fell to soft dismissals.

Misbah then batted with the sole aim of steering Pakistan to the break without losing another wicket. He edged a couple but dead-batted most of his first 16 deliveries, remaining scoreless. And then he slammed Shakib for a huge six over wide long-on, easing the pressure as Pakistan went into a 40-minute interval on 58 for 4, needing 34 more.

Umar Akmal was bowled by Shakib in the first over after play resumed. He was trying to cut as well. The crowd that had grown increasingly vocal as Pakistan slipped roared once more. For the final time, though, because Afridi silenced them. He made use of Nafees dropping him at slip off Shakib and hit three consecutive fours off the same bowler to drive Pakistan to the verge of victory. Afridi then edged Shakib wide of slip to finish the game as the highest wicket-taker and the top run-scorer. He had made only 24.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • atthipatti on December 3, 2011, 5:52 GMT

    War of the minnows!!! C'monnnn!!!!

  • hasib9 on December 3, 2011, 2:07 GMT

    I don't know what the selectors see in Naeem Islam. They pick him pretty much for all formats. Bangladesh needs more batsmen in the 15 men squad (Shuvagoto Hom, and other youngsters like him). For 2nd ODI, we need to focus on strengthening the batting. Instead of picking Alok Kapali, they picked Naeem. Kapali did exceptionally well with the ball in T20, and they rewarded him by dropping him from the team. Well done.

  • dummy4fb on December 2, 2011, 17:48 GMT

    it was a hard pitch to play on & the better team won & indians never get tired of suggesting bd to play in assosciate level.

  • waheed on December 2, 2011, 17:36 GMT

    They are so called Bengal tigers :)

    Zimbabwe Kenya and Afghanistan are far better sides then this Bangladesh side

  • dummy4fb on December 2, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    For me only shakib al hasan and Nasir Hossain looks promising, I believe they have positive mentality, shaking did look bit worried and looked like he was shaking (not literary, you could see he was playing under pressure) but that was due to poor batting performance by others. These both player can win matches for BD if they can get little support. As for bowling for BD, ya its not so special, the fact they restrict Pakistan to low score it was highly due to pitch conditions and Pakistan great batting.

    Mark my words, write it down. NEVER judge the performance of bowling attack based on Pakistan batting but always judge batting performance based on Pakistan bowling (reason for this is simple, you should know it if you watch cricket a lot)

    BD bowling attack will be thrashed if they were playing against India or South Africa or Australia.

    As for Pakistan I cannot really say anything how well they did, their bowling was good. They really need to notch up their batting.

  • cisco420 on December 2, 2011, 16:33 GMT

    I dont understand why Pakistan are playing all the seniors with such weak teams. Why is Misbah, Younis Khan , Afridi and Malik playing these matches with Bangladesh. New kids should be given chance. Hafeez should be the captain for this series and the young guys should be playing with him. PCB and pakistan cricket have no clue what they are doing.

  • dummy4fb on December 2, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    Shahid Afridi has made a dream comeback into the Pakistani side... He is on his way to break a few records for sure... Hopefully he is gonna reach d 400 wickets mark soon... looking forward to it..

  • ICET on December 2, 2011, 15:07 GMT

    Short and simple....TEAM FOR ONEDAYERS... 1..M HAFFEZ..2..I NAZIR/ A SHAHZED 3..ASAD SHAFIQ/Y KHAN..4..U AKMAL..5 MISBAH..6..HAMMAD AZAM..7..S AFRIDI..8..S AHAMED..9..U GUL..J KHAN/ A CHEEMA...11..S AJAMAL..

    If the pitch is hard and green, get in 3 fast bowlers, and drop H AZZAM.. I farhat, S Tanvir should never play for Pakistan again...

    TEST TEAM.. 1..M HAFFEZ..2 T UMER/NEW PLAYER 3..A ALI 4..Y KHAN..5 MISBAH..6..ASAD SHAFIQ/UMER AKAMAL..7..S AHAMED 8 ..U GUL..9..J KHAN..10 A CHEEMA/NEW BOWLER...11.S AJMAL..

    If pitch is slow then play 2 spineers drop a fast bowler...

  • Mashrur_Cricket_Fan on December 2, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    Its pathetic to hear all these garbage about how Bangladesh has not improved much in the past 10 years given that they've played 200+ one day's etc etc etc...and also to hear India/Pak/Sri etc etc were never minnows...listen, so while Bangladesh has been playing for 10 yrs and getting their so called "experience" have the other top teams been sitting on their collective behinds doing nothing???? they've ALSO played 250+ one dayers and many more tests at the time and improved tremendously in the same period with much better infrastructure that was already in place and better opportunities. The overall quality of cricket has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade, so stop with the Bangladesh bashing, look in terms of years and not number of games played, everyone's playing the same number so that number is irrelevant.

  • likeintcricket on December 2, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    @rohitkossery, Pakistan were never a minnows. Checkout its record on crickinfo. Since their inclusion in the ICC they won test matches in their first series with nearly every countries except against SA ( due to apartheid). They won at Oval in 1954 against Hutton's England ( The greatest English team assembled) and Shut out Australia for 80. They won against India in India and so on. In fact those players ( Fazal, Khan, Hanif, Nazar and Kardar ) are legend of Pakistan cricket. Also Srilanka were never a weak side too. Before their Test status they had a strong side and in 80's they had players like, Dias, Mendis, Demel and Ranatunga in their strong side. India just like WI always had great players but they were under the control of British masters. But for Bangladesh I could not recall any good Test player for 10 years of their cricket. They need to develop their structure and work on players like Srilanka does. Playing in other countries league is a good idea.

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