Tamim, Mushfiqur end 16-year wait
Bangladesh 329 for 6 (Tamim 132, Mushfiqur 106, Wahab 4-59) beat Pakistan 250 (Azhar 72, Rizwan 67, Haris 51, Taskin 3-42, Sunny 3-47) by 79 runs
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details
A partnership of 178 between Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim set up a total of 329, Bangladesh's highest in ODIs, and a 79-run win that backed up their claims of entering the series as favourites. A new-look Pakistan line-up, including two debutants and a captain-opener playing his first ODI in more than two years, made a good fist of the chase, but the pressure of a steadily mounting asking rate proved too much to handle. The win was Bangladesh's second against Pakistan, and their first since the 1999 World Cup.
Half-centuries from three of their batsmen, including the captain and one of the debutants, gave Pakistan reason to cheer, nonetheless. Strike rotation has been a major issue with their top-order batsmen in recent times, and Azhar Ali's innings promised change on that front. He played out a maiden against Rubel Hossain to start, but was busy thereafter, only seeing out 22 dots out of the remaining 67 balls faced. When the seamers bowled short, he was a picture of authority, standing tall to pull, cut or punch through the covers.
Azhar put on 52 with Sarfraz Ahmed for the first wicket and 89 with Haris Sohail for the third before he nicked Taskin Ahmed behind, trying to steer the ball to third man. At that point Pakistan needed 182 in 22.3 overs, with seven wickets in hand. They had brought it down to a typical Twenty20 chase on a good pitch, with the additional advantages of a batting Powerplay and ODI field restrictions, but they still needed a big effort to win it.
Rizwan got off the mark in ODIs with three successive fours off Abul Hasan - a back-foot punch through extra cover, a fierce cut to the right of third man, and a flick past midwicket - and kept the score moving briskly along, but wickets kept falling at the other end. Taskin struck again to remove Haris for 51, bending his back to extract pace and bounce and force the left-hander to miscue a pull to mid-on.
Pakistan needed 114 from 66 balls when Arafat Sunny struck the fatal blows. Fawad Alam, one of the stars of a similarly tall chase at this same ground last year, scooped a full-toss straight to mid-off. Saad Nasim, the other debutant, was bowled by an arm-ball while making room to cut. With the asking rate now close to 12 an over, there was only going to be one result.
Tamim's 135-ball 132 was his fifth ODI hundred and his first since March 2013. Mushfiqur cantered to 106 off 77, and it was his arrival at the crease that catalysed a shift of momentum that saw Bangladesh score 262 runs in their last 30 overs, after a sluggish start had left them 67 for 2 at the 20-over mark. Their stand was Bangladesh's highest for any wicket in ODIs, against any opposition.
Though they didn't take any wickets early on, Pakistan's trio of left-arm seamers had kept Tamim and Soumya Sarkar quiet with their tight off-stump line. Tamim carved them away through the off side on the rare occasions when they gave him width, but Sarkar was edgy throughout his 36-ball stay. Wahab Riaz broke the stand in the 14th over, moving quickly in his follow-through to beat Sarkar in a foot race and run him out at the batsman's end. Bangladesh were still two short of 50 at that point.
When Mahmudullah was bowled trying to manufacture room against Junaid Khan in the 20th over, their run rate was still below four an over. But with Shahid Afridi in retirement and Mohammad Hafeez still awaiting the results of tests on his action, they knew they could find a hole to exploit in Pakistan's attack - their lack of bowling depth.
From the 24th over to the 29th, Haris, Nasim and Azhar gave away 52 runs in 24 balls with their part-time spin. Pakistan could have lived with that had they taken their chances, but they didn't. Nasim dropped a caught-and-bowled off Tamim when he was on 47, and Junaid put down a sitter at mid-on to reprieve Mushfiqur, who miscued a big hit off Azhar's legspin when he was on 35.
The regular bowlers came back into the attack from the 30th over on, but the momentum was now firmly with Tamim and Mushfiqur. They picked up a four in every over from the 31st to the 34th, and Tamim had raced to 93 when Saeed Ajmal came on to bowl his second spell.
Returning to the side after a lengthy suspension spent correcting an illegal action, Ajmal had conceded only 11 runs in his first five overs. Bowling quicker than before with a noticeably round-arm delivery, he had maintained a constricting line while not deriving too much turn. Now he was bowling to two set batsmen. Mushfiqur greeted him with a slog-sweep to the wide long-on boundary. When Tamim got on strike, he sat on the back foot and steered Ajmal away wide of short third man. Two balls later, Ajmal speared one down the leg side, and Tamim merely had to deflect it wide of short fine leg to bring up his first ODI century since March 2013.
Every Pakistan bowler took punishment, but the seamers managed to finish with economy rates below six an over, largely because of their frugal first spells. Ajmal had no such luck. His seventh over went for 18, with Tamim hitting two fours and a big six over long-on. There was no respite even after Tamim's dismissal, as Mushfiqur slog-swept him for two sixes in his ninth over and late-cut him for successive fours in his tenth, bringing up his century in the process.
In all, Ajmal's last five overs disappeared for 63, and his figures of 10-0-74-0 were his worst in ODIs. He may have known his return to international cricket would not be easy, but he probably had not imagined it would go this badly.
Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo