Pakistan triumph in thriller

Heartbreak for hosts as Bangladesh go down by two runs

Pakistan triumph in thriller

Pakistan regained the Asia Cup title after a gap of 12 years as they pulled off a nail-biting two-run victory over Bangla-desh, who came agonisingly close to a historic triumph but ran out of steam in the dying moments to go past the target here on Thursday.

Pakistan were restricted to a modest 236 for nine but held their nerve to stop the spirited hosts at 234 for eight, shattering Bangladeshi hopes of notching up their maiden Asia Cup title.

It was a case of so near and yet so far for the Bangladeshis, who reached the final for the first time and very nearly upstaged their fancied opponents in a tournament in which they upset world champions India and Sri Lanka.

The hosts needed nine runs off Aizaz Cheema’s tense last over but fell short as a stunned silence descended on a fully packed Sher-e-Bangla National stadium. Disappointed Bangladeshi players shed tears on the field while fans were equally heart-broken after the nerve-wracking contest.

The in-form Shakib al Hasan (68) and Tamim Iqbal (60) were the notable performers for Bangladesh but none of the other batsmen could come up with significant scores to tilt the scale in their favour.

Earlier, Bangladesh kept Pakistan to a manageable with the help of some fine bowling. But some lacklustre bowling by Shahdat Hossain towards the end and useful contributions from Afridi (32) and wicket-keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed (46 n.o.) propelled Pakistan.

Shahdat gave away 19 runs in the final over of the innings and was guilty of bowling two no-balls, which not only boosted Pakistan’s score but also their confidence.

SCORE BOARD

PAKISTAN

Hafeez c Nazmul b Razzak    40
Jamshed c M’dullah b Mortaza    9
Younis lbw b Nazmul    1
Misbah (run out)13
U Akmal c Rahim b Mahmudullah    30
Azam c & b Shakib    30
Afridi c Nasir b Shakib    32
S Ahmed (not out)    46
Gul c Shakib b Mortaza    4
Ajmal b Razzak    4
Cheema (not out)    9

Extras (B-2, LB-8, W-4, NB-4)    18

Total (for 9 wkts, 50 overs)    236

Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-19, 3-55, 4-70, 5-129, 6-133, 7-178, 8-199, 9-206.  
Bowling: Mortaza 10-0-48-2, Nazmul 8-1-36-1, Razzak 10-3-26-2, Shahadat 9-0-63-0, Shakib 10-1-39-2, Mahmudullah 3-0-14-1. 

Bangladesh

Tamim c Younis b Gul    60
Nazimuddin c Younis b Afridi    16
Jahurul c Younis b Ajmal    0
Nasir c Misbah b Umar    28
Shakib b Cheema    68
Mushfiqur c Jamshed b Cheema    10
Mahmudullah (not out)    17
Mortaza c Jamshed b Ajmal    18
Razzak b Cheema    6
S Hossain (not out)    0

Extras (lb-5, W-4, nb-2)    11

Total (for 8 wkts, 50 overs)    234

Fall of wickets: 1-68, 2-68, 3-81, 4-170, 5-179, 6-190, 7-218, 8-233.

Bowling: Hafeez 10-0-30-0, Gul 10-2-65-2, Ajmal 10-2-40-2, Afridi 10-1-28-1, Cheema 7-0-46-3, Azam 3-0-20-0.

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