Bangladesh v Pakistan, 3rd ODI, Mirpur April 22, 2015

Sarkar ton powers Bangladesh to 3-0


Bangladesh 251 for 2 (Sarkar 127*, Tamim 64, Mushfiqur 49*, Junaid 2-67) beat Pakistan 250 (Azhar 101, Haris 52, Shakib 2-34, Sunny 2-43, Mashrafe 2-44) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Bangladesh carries on form from World Cup with 3-0 series win over Pakistan

Soumya Sarkar blasted a maiden ODI hundred and put on 145 with Tamim Iqbal as Bangladesh wrapped up a 3-0 series whitewash in emphatic fashion. They won by eight wickets, with more than 10 overs to spare, but such a margin was only possible because of a spectacular collapse from Pakistan.

Azhar Ali's 101, the first ODI century by a Pakistan captain in nearly five years, and his stands of 91 and 98 with Sami Aslam and Haris Sohail had taken Pakistan to 203 for 2 in the 39th over. They looked all set for a dash to a 300-plus total, but they lost their last eight wickets for 47 runs and set a distinctly below-par target of 251.

If it was going to test Bangladesh, they would need to lose early wickets, and Tamim seemed determined not to let that happen. Even as Sarkar picked up four fours in the first four overs, Tamim played watchfully, defending Mohammad Hafeez - who took the new ball upon his return from a bowling suspension - with a resolutely straight bat and shouldering arms to the first three balls he received from Umar Gul.

He put away the bad balls, but had only played six scoring shots in scoring 12 off his first 25 balls. By that time Sarkar had raced to 33 off 35, and Bangladesh were a solid 48 for 0 in 10 overs. By the end of the 17th over, the score had swelled to 86. Hafeez returned to the attack, and spun one sharply away from Sarkar to find the edge of his defensively thrust bat, only for Mohammad Rizwan - who had taken the gloves after Pakistan left out Sarfraz Ahmed - to put down the chance behind the stumps.

Sarkar had added four more runs to his score and moved to 52 when he pressed forward to the left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar and inside-edged him onto his pad. The ball bounced over Aslam's head at short leg - he got both hands to it but couldn't hold on.

As if to drive home the importance of those two misses, both batsmen hit sixes off the next over, Sarkar launching Hafeez over long-on and Tamim over cover. Over the next three overs Bangladesh pressed home their point further. Babar gave away five fours, including a paddle sweep that took Tamim to his fifty, and in between Sarkar ran down the track to Junaid Khan and clouted him over his head.

Junaid went for 27 in his first four overs, but brought Pakistan a small measure of relief with two wickets in two overs. He seamed one into the left-handed Tamim to ping his pad right in front of off stump, and jagged one into the right-handed Mahmudullah to bowl him through the gate.

It was only momentary respite. Mushfiqur Rahim, who has been in sublime form since the start of the World Cup, dabbed the third ball of Junaid's next over cleverly past slip, and Sarkar ended the over with two flat-batted fours down the ground.

There was little left in it for Pakistan, and Azhar brought himself on to bowl the 34th over, and deliver the long-hop that Sarkar clumped over deep midwicket to bring up his first ODI century. It wasn't long before Sarkar would go up to receive the man of the match award, with his pads still on.

Soumya Sarkar struck 13 fours and six sixes in his 110-ball 127 © AFP

For the first 40 overs of the match it had been Azhar's turn to hog the limelight with his own maiden hundred. For that duration Pakistan had shown promise for the future. Aslam, the 19-year-old opener, made 45 on his ODI debut, driving through the covers with a fluent, left-handed flourish and pulling confidently when the bowlers dropped short. Replacing Sarfraz, Aslam barely put a foot wrong in his 50-ball innings before a sharply bouncing offbreak from Nasir Hossain brushed his bottom thumb through to the keeper.

Haris, who came in after Hafeez had slogged all around an Arafat Sunny arm ball, picked up most of his runs through nudges and nurdles off his pads, but he also stepped down the track and struck the spinners for two heart-in-the-mouth sixes - one just out of reach of deep midwicket, one just out of reach of long-on.

Azhar's innings showcased the same strengths he has displayed right through this series. He put away the short balls with clinical placement, easily finding the gap between point and third man with his square cut. Perhaps more importantly, he rotated the strike well, failing to score off only 49 out of 112 balls. It's been a trend right through the series.

Azhar didn't play the World Cup, in which Pakistan often played on challenging pitches, so a direct comparison with the batsmen who did may not be entirely accurate. Nonetheless, it must mean something that Azhar is the only Pakistan batsman with a dot-ball percentage below 50 among the six who have faced 150 balls this year. Ahmed Shehzad, the batsman he replaced, is at the opposite end of that list at 64.79.

Azhar reached his century in the 38th over, and his partnership with Haris was nearing the century mark, when an arm-ball from Shakib turned the tide completely. Azhar went back to cut and lost his off stump. An over later, Haris was gone too, swiping across the line of a slower ball from Mashrafe Mortaza. The deluge began, and some of the dismissals were inexplicable.

Like Haris, Fawad slogged across the line at Mashrafe. Wahab Riaz and Saad Nasim picked out fielders in the 30-yard circle with half-hearted attempts at big hits. Rizwan popped a return catch to Shakib, looking to work across the line of a slow back-of-a-length ball.

In his first series as ODI captain, playing the format after more than two years out of the side, Azhar has seen Pakistan lose their first series to Bangladesh. Now, even the consolation of a decent total in a dead rubber was slipping away.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on April 25, 2015, 15:33 GMT

    misbh u want team nw no another player

  • Adel on April 24, 2015, 23:08 GMT

    Regards to Afridi because you are undoubtedly one of the best cricket players in the world now as well as this PAK team. PAK did not perform poorly. They simply were clueless to a superbly superior BD team. There is no shame losing to a superior team. So called Minnow BD ranked no 10 in T20 outclassed no 3 mighty world champion PAK. It was a one sided game and boring for BD FANS and humiliating for PAK FANS. PAK were hiding behind the slogan of "lack of experience"in the ODI series and yet the #3 ranked team lost miserably to #10 ranked with all the experience of Afriidi and Gul and Hafeez and Wahab and Shahzad and mighty Ajmal and I can go on. Under 19 BD bowler Mustafiz and inexperienced Taskin ran through mighty experienced PAK batting line up. Then inexperienced Shabbir hammered the mighty PAK bowlers to planet Mars under 17 overs.

  • atheek on April 24, 2015, 16:09 GMT

    i want to tell one thing that is send pak cricket team back to 20 years where they can play their signature game tuk tuk cricket

  • Dummy4 on April 24, 2015, 16:06 GMT

    Playing three pacers is never a good idea in Test for BD. I hope selectors will not take this kind of approach or strategy . it must be spin. Srilanka and India won so many test matches because of their main spin bowlers like Herath, Murali , kumble , Harbhajan. Pitch must be turning and bounce, it is Taijul, Shakib , either Jubair or Gazi, BD needs three genuine spinner and two consistent pacers. Taskin is very consistent, what i see today about Mustafiz, he is a swing bowler, unknown, and have variations. If he clicks then it will a good time for BD in Test, i will prefer Taskin and Mostafiz/Shafiul. this is BD's chance , we do not get enough opportunity to play test and BD should think more deeply about their strategy. Target their main batsman Misbah's wicket. Pakistani batting can broke down in pressure. every opportunity to win a Test.

  • Dummy4 on April 24, 2015, 15:58 GMT

    hello friends from pak ,I am from india as i am a huge fan of pak .i want to tell one thing today pak cricket team look like an nepal r burmuda team soo sad because it play like this

  • Golam Kabir on April 24, 2015, 12:57 GMT

    next Will be the india.....

  • Saky on April 24, 2015, 9:59 GMT

    this is an experienced Pakistan team. certainly more experienced than the BD team. but they need to get their combination right.

  • KHAN on April 24, 2015, 7:38 GMT

    Congrats BD! Many pak supporter says we r in rebuilding phase,some says we will show u who we r and so many negative points and do not accept the fact BD is better as a team than pak at this moment. My suggestion to ICC, look where BD was in 15 years and where r they now, same goes to NZ, Srilanka . Forget about so called big 3, give test status to Ireland and afghan and be fair with FTP at least for 10 years and u will see Ireland will consistently beat ur so called big 3.make less money for next 10 years and truly spread game of cricket ,u will see double money,don't even think 10 team World Cup.otherwise one day Ireland, afghan will will keep their bat & pad to garage!

  • tahmid on April 24, 2015, 7:08 GMT

    This is way too much .... we payed better than Pakistan is every aspect but please come down to ground BD fans. We should now look forward to win against other test paying teams now, this is not the time to look back what we did and how .... still long way to go. And I do agree that we should respect to all countries and this is how the cricket goes. Please BD fans do not bother what other`s said to us now and in the past ... lets come to the field and play with us.

  • Osama Ali on April 24, 2015, 5:25 GMT

    As a Pakistani, BD played really well and deserved to win. For Pak, our mistake was to change the entire team together and we should have brought gradual changes, Waqar as coach is always a failure so that experiment is failing!!!! Hope this is his last series and we can have Mohsin Khan again as a coach

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