Tigers win Big In Bengal New Year
Bangladesh329 for 6 (Tamim Iqbal 132, Mushfiqur Rahim 106, Wahab Riaz 4-59) beat Pakistan 250 (Azhar Ali 72, Mohammad Rizwan 67, Haris Sohail 51, Taskin Ahmed 3-42, Arafat Sunny 3-47) by 79 runs
Man of the Match: Mushfiqur Rahim
Bangladesh strongly backed its favorite tag in the ODI series with a comprehensive 79 runs win against Pakistan. It is after long 16 years agonizing wait Bangladesh won only its second match against Pakistan in any format of the game. Batting first after winning the toss Bangladesh scored a very impressive 329/6 in allotted overs riding on sparling 132 by star opener Tamim and magnificent 106 by majestic Mushfique. Talented Taskin and south paw spinner Arafat Sunny then combined to wrap up Pakistan innings for 250. Bangladesh made resounding start to it mission r ICC raking upgrading. The mission on course will reach logical conclusion if tigers can move on and white wash Pakistan. A great start of the busy season for Bangladesh during which Bangladesh will also host India, South Africa and Australia.
17th April incidentally a red letter day of Bangladesh history. On that very day in 1971 exile government of Bangladesh was formed at Meherpoor greater Khustia now named Mujibnagar. The massive victory against higher ranked Pakistan made tiger fans ecstatic.
Bangladesh had to play without regular captain Mashrafee as he had to sit out one match being suspended for slow over rate of the team in the world cup. Shakib cutting short his IPL assignment for Knight Riders returned on time to lead the team. On an easy paced wicket he opted to bat under a cloud covered sky against a world class Pakistan pace attack. Star opener Tamim was struggling to find his sweet touch in some recent games. He was partnered by young Soumya Sarkar the discovery of recent world cup cricket. A characteristic dashing innings was overdue from Tamim. He was in his element from the start but for a change remained a bit careful chasing deliveries early on in the corridor of uncertainty. Soumya was a little edgy. But the pair was moving ahead smoothly. New Pakistan captain had to use his tramp card Wahab Riaz and Ajmal a bit early. A short lifting delivery from Wahab Riaz put Tamim in a bit of tangle. Soumya wanted to take a cheeky single. Wahab reacted sharply in his follow though and had Soumya run out in photo finish.
Pakistani bowlers were bowling on a tight off stump line and dried up the runs. Mahamudullah the star performer of World cup in efforts of manufacturing a stroke against accurate Junaid Khan lost his stumps. Bangladesh crawled to 67/2 in the 20thover. Even Tamim had quiet time at this period. But the arrival of the best Bangladesh batsman in current form Mushfique triggered a fresh momentum. Like busy bee Bangladesh little master started stinging and had catalytic effect on by then well set Tamim. The pair exploited the weak link of Pakistan attack. Azhar Ali , Saad Nasim leaked easy runs. Butter fingered Pakistanis dropped both Tamim and Mushfique which ultimately hurt them very badly. Two batting leaders of Bangladesh punished all Paki bowlers like an avalanche. The pair put on 178 runs in the third wicket a new record for any wicket by Bangladeshis improving the record set by Habibul Bashar and Rajin Saleh against Kenya. The most satisfying was that Tamim after over two years scored yet another ODI century 132 in 135 deliveries and in the process became the highest scorer of ODI runs for Bangladesh. He played trade mark cut, pull and cover drives during the innings. Mushfique kept the momentum going and was more brutal on the day. His 106 in only 77 deliveries had strong strokes and delicate touch strokes. He proved why he is the highest ICC ranked batsman of the two sides at the momentum. Shakib joining him was also in his element. His quick fired 31 and little cameo by emerging champion Shabbir ( 15 in 7 balls ) took Bangladesh total to 329 /6 a new Bangladesh record in the world cup. This was the first time two Bangladesh batsmen scored centuries in the same match. Ace Pakistan bowler Saeed Ajmal’s return to international cricket with reconstructed bowling action ended in night mare. He conceded 74 in his 10 overs. His last 5 overs were blasted by Tamim, Mushfique and Shakib for 65 runs. His worst bowling spell in golden career. Even in such avalanche Wahab Riaz bowled with hostile pace on a good corridor and took 4/59 .
Bangladesh all but won the match setting a target of 330 as it was well beyond depleted Pakistan batting side. Yet they made a reasonable good start with new captain Azhar Alai and Sarfraz. But the suicidal run out of the most experienced Mohammad Hafiz served deadly blow. Azhar had good partnership with Haris Sohail and Saad Nasim. But apart from these three Azhar (72) , Saad ( 67 ) and Haris ( 51) no other batsmen could survive the steady bowling attack and increasing asking rate . Taskin ( 3/42 ) and Arafat Sunny ( 3/47) were the chief destroyer . Pakistan could go as far as 250 losing the match by a large margin of 79 runs. With depleted batting and limited bowling options Pakistan achieved as much as it could do. But the fielding was awful. If the catches offered by Tamim and Mushfique were accepted it could be a more competitive match.
Bangladesh won the match as expected after their brilliant performance at world cup and is now well on course for a series win. Captain Mashrafee will return from the next match strengthening the attack still further. Return to form of Tamim augers well. The team now has several performers and few genuine match winners. They are playing as a well-oiled unit. Batting order now appears perfect. If match situation demands Shabbir can be used as a floater.
New look Pakistan team does not have required depth in bowling and batting. It will take some time for debutants to get used to international condition. But the real worry is lack of bite and venom of star bowler Ajmal. In ODI 5 genuine bowlers are required to win consistently. Pakistan also need to improve fielding a lot to become competitive. But past proven records evidence that Pakistan bounces back from back to the wall. Still a lot to played in the ODI series. However, the second ODI tomorrow is extremely crucial.