Asia Cup: Pakistan in final, India knocked out
Riding on Shahid Afridi's blistering knock of 59 runs, Pakistan reached the final of Asia Cup by beating Bangladesh by three wickets in the eighth match of the five-nation tournament here on Tuesday.
Chasing Bangladesh's 326 for three, Pakistan reached 329 runs by losing seven wickets with one ball to spare.
The thrilling encounter, which had a good chance of moving towards Bangladesh, saw three Pakistani players- Afridi, Ahmed Shehzad (103) and Fawad Alam (74)- shine with their willows and ensure a remarkable victory at the end of the clash.
Shehzad hammered 12 boundaries and a six in his 123-ball knock.
Chasing a mammoth target, Pakistani openers Mohammad Hafeez (52) and Shehzad, gave the current champions a good start as they added 97 runs in the first wicket partnership.
Bangladesh returned to the game strongly by picking four quick wickets of Hafeez, Misbah-ul-Haq (4)and Sohaib Maqsood (2) to reduce the 'Men in Green' to 97-0 to 105 to 3 within 23rd over.
Shehzad and Fawad Alam then joined to re-build the innings and added 105 runs in the fourth wicket partnership. Alam hammered four boundaries and two sixes in his knock.
Afridi, however, made the difference as he smashed seven sixes and two boundaries in his 25-ball 59 runs knock to bring his side close to the target.
Afridi played some huge sixes as was shot by him in the match against India on Sunday.
Along with Alam, Afridi built a sixth wicket partnership of 69 runs.
Bangladesh briefly returned to the match as both Alam and Afridi, were run out at quick intervals.
Umar Akmal (14*) and Umar Gul (0*) reached the target for Pakistan and helped the side reach the Asia Cup final consecutively.
Mominul Haque picked up two wickets for Bangladesh.
Making several changes in the side after losing the last match against Afghanistan, Bangladesh made a roaring return in the game by posting 326 for three on the scoreboard in their 50 overs.
Anamul Haque top scored for Bangladesh with his 100.
He hit six boundaries and four sixes in his knock which saw the batsman dominating over the Pakistani bowlers.
Imrul Kayes (59), Mominul Haque (51), Mushfiqur Rahim (51) and all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan (44) contributed well with their willows.
Hasan, who is playing his first match in the tournament, played a quick-fire unbeaten 28-ball 44 runs. He hit six boundaries and 2 sixes in the knock.
Saeed Ajmal picked up two wickets for Pakistan.
Pakistan will face Sri Lanka in the final.
(Posted on 04-03-2014)