Asia Cup final Match: Pakistan vs Bangladesh Highlights and Photos
When their gut-wrenching disappointment dies down, Bangladesh will remember that they were just one stroke away from the Asia Cup title. And see it as clinching evidence of their progress. When their sense of relief passes, Pakistan will remember that they were tested to the hilt, but came through somehow. And see it as a confirmation of their renowned ability to win the big moments.
But for the moment, Bangladesh will be gutted; gutted at what could have been, gutted that it wasn’t to be. They had lost their first tournament final by two wickets to Sri Lanka in 2009. The margin was two runs today.
What wouldn’t Shahadat Hossain give to take back the 50th over of Pakistan’s innings bowled by him which went for 19? What wouldn’t Nazimuddin and Nasir Hossain give to take back their innings of 16 off 52 and 28 off 63 in the chase?
In a game that came down to four runs needed off the last ball, several passages of play could be said to have been decisive. Sarfraz Ahmed’s 46 off 52, which turned 199 for 8 into 236 for 9. Shahid Afridi’s 32 off 22 and 1 for 28 in ten overs with the ball. Shakib’s dismissal with Bangladesh needing 58 off 39.
Bangladesh had themselves to blame for allowing a target that had seemed gettable at the start to turn into a daunting one. It was Nazimuddin’s clueless crawl of an innings that invited pressure despite Tamim Iqbal’s fourth consecutive half-century. Tamim’s departure to Younis Khan’s third sharp catch further increased the pressure on the hosts in their first chase in a tournament final.
While the plan could have been for Nazimuddin to be the anchor and Tamim to be the aggressor, the former became completely subdued after being beaten four times in five deliveries by Umar Gul in the second over, leaving run-making duties completely to his partner.
Tamim responded by hitting Gul out of the attack with four fours in nine deliveries. All shots bore the mark of a man in top form, with the highlight being a punch through point played with his feet off the ground. Nazimuddin continued to dig a deeper hole for himself, treating Mohammad Hafeez with utmost respect and allowing him to get through five overs for only 10 runs.
Realisation belatedly dawned on him, but by then, he had got into such a rut that he was mistiming almost everything. Bangladesh were not able to get anywhere close to dominating, which they should have given the way Tamim was batting. In the same Shahid Afridi over in which Tamim brought up his fourth half-century of the tournament, off 48 balls, Younis finally ended Nazimuddin’s misery with a running catch at long-off. By then, Nazimuddin had used up 52 balls for his 16.
Jahurul Islam did not last long against Ajmal’s doosra and gave Younis his second catch, at slip. With Nasir also struggling to get going, Tamim decided to take on Gul but only found extra cover with a mis-hit pull, Younis diving forward to take another excellent catch.
Carrying his nation’s hopes once again, Shakib walked in at 81 for 3 and pulled his first delivery for four. Afridi and Gul responded with consecutive maiden overs. Shakib set about targetting Hammad Azam and Cheema as Bangladesh tried to keep the rate from galloping out of control.
It rose above eight. Shakib swung Cheema over midwicket for six. Despite Shakib’s hitting, Nasir’s struggle had begun to hurt Bangladesh. It was similar to the way the innings had cantered and stalled alternatively when Tamim and Nazimuddin were batting.
Nasir finally holed out off Gul in the 43rd over. Shakib coolly scooped the last ball of that over past short fine leg. But an attempt to repeat the stroke in the next over off Cheema resulted in his leg stump being rattled.
With 47 needed off five overs, Mushfiqur Rahim swung Cheema straight to deep midwicket. This Bangladesh side does not easily roll over though. Mashrafe Mortaza smashed Gul for three fours in four balls in the 47th over. It came down to 19 needed off 15. Mortaza then paddled Ajmal into the hands of short fine leg.
With Mahmudullah still around and four needed off two, Abdur Razzak turned Cheema onto his stumps and in an ironic end, Shahadat, could not get the last ball away for more than a leg-bye.
As Misbah-ul-Haq embraced Cheema, there were tears in the Bangladesh dressing room. They had been favourites to crack on their biggest day as a cricketing nation. A fourth consistent performance on the trot was expected to be beyond them. But they gave an extremely creditable account of themselves, especially with the ball.
Pakistan are masters of the big moment, though, and somehow find a player who performs. Wicketkeeper Sarfraz, who had a highest ODI score of 24 and a strike-rate of 62.35 before this game, weighed in with a 52-ball 46.
Bangladesh’s bowling was tight and their fielding was energetic, as it had been throughout the tournament. Pakistan were not allowed to get away, except in the last over. Bangladesh’s leading ODI wicket-taker Abdur Razzak rose to the occasion, with figures of 10-3-26-2. But Shahadat proved expensive once again in a horror last over which contained two no-balls and went for 19.
Bangladesh’s discipline till then had kept Pakistan under relentless pressure. And that pressure had brought wickets. Their openers, Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed – who had a century and a double-century stand earlier in the tournament – failed to clear the infield in their attempts to hit out. Younis and Umar Akmal got rough decisions, Misbah’s hesitation ran him out, and Azam and Afridi threw it away.
Afridi was his normal hit-or-depart self, and another promising innings was soon terminated a few breathtaking strokes later with a mis-hit to long-off. There was no knowing at that stage that it would turn out to be one of the important knocks in the game.
Gul could not repeat his salvage act from the tournament opener against Bangladesh, and Sarfraz was the unlikely candidate for a mini-recovery. He ensured Pakistan batted the full 50 overs and Bangladesh finally fell apart in the last one. Shahadat served up waist-high full tosses, and short and wide deliveries to be carted for 19, and left Pakistan’s strength, their bowling, with a decent score to defend.
A chase in a final was something Bangladesh had never encountered before. It did inhibit the usual freedom of a couple of their batsmen, and that was the difference in the end.
Pakistan 236/9 (50 ov)
Bangladesh 234/8 (50.0 ov)
Pakistan won by 2 runs
- Asia Cup – Final
- ODI no. 3267 | 2011/12 season
- Played at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
- 22 March 2012 – day/night (50-over match)
|Pakistan innings (50 overs maximum)||R||M||B||4s||6s||SR|
|Mohammad Hafeez||c Nazmul Hossain b Abdur Razzak||40||105||87||4||0||45.97|
|Nasir Jamshed||c Mahmudullah b Mashrafe Mortaza||9||23||8||2||0||112.50|
|Younis Khan||lbw b Nazmul Hossain||1||6||5||0||0||20.00|
|Misbah-ul-Haq*||run out (Nasir Hossain)||13||48||23||1||0||56.52|
|Umar Akmal||c †Mushfiqur Rahim b Mahmudullah||30||80||45||0||1||66.66|
|Hammad Azam||c & b Shakib Al Hasan||30||48||37||3||1||81.08|
|Shahid Afridi||c Nasir Hossain b Shakib Al Hasan||32||32||22||4||1||145.45|
|Sarfraz Ahmed†||not out||46||67||52||4||0||88.46|
|Umar Gul||c Shakib Al Hasan b Mashrafe Mortaza||4||13||6||0||0||66.66|
|Saeed Ajmal||b Abdur Razzak||4||7||7||0||0||57.14|
|Aizaz Cheema||not out||9||22||11||1||0||81.81|
|Extras||(b 2, lb 8, w 4, nb 4)||18|
|Total||(9 wickets; 50 overs)||236||(4.72 runs per over)|
|Fall of wickets 1-16 (Nasir Jamshed, 4.2 ov), 2-19 (Younis Khan, 5.2 ov), 3-55 (Misbah-ul-Haq, 14.5 ov), 4-70 (Mohammad Hafeez, 21.2 ov), 5-129 (Hammad Azam, 33.3 ov), 6-133 (Umar Akmal, 34.5 ov), 7-178 (Shahid Afridi, 41.3 ov), 8-199 (Umar Gul, 44.3 ov), 9-206 (Saeed Ajmal, 45.6 ov)|
|Shahadat Hossain||9||0||63||0||7.00||(3nb, 2w)|
|Shakib Al Hasan||10||1||39||2||3.90||(1w)|
|Bangladesh innings (target: 237 runs from 50 overs)||R||M||B||4s||6s||SR|
|Tamim Iqbal||c Younis Khan b Umar Gul||60||90||68||8||0||88.23|
|Nazimuddin||c Younis Khan b Shahid Afridi||16||62||52||0||0||30.76|
|Jahurul Islam||c Younis Khan b Saeed Ajmal||0||4||5||0||0||0.00|
|Nasir Hossain||c Misbah-ul-Haq b Umar Gul||28||108||63||1||0||44.44|
|Shakib Al Hasan||b Aizaz Cheema||68||95||72||7||1||94.44|
|Mushfiqur Rahim*†||c Nasir Jamshed b Aizaz Cheema||10||14||8||1||0||125.00|
|Mashrafe Mortaza||c Nasir Jamshed b Saeed Ajmal||18||14||9||2||0||200.00|
|Abdur Razzak||b Aizaz Cheema||6||18||8||0||0||75.00|
|Shahadat Hossain||not out||0||1||1||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||(lb 5, w 4, nb 2)||11|
|Total||(8 wickets; 50 overs)||234||(4.68 runs per over)|
|Did not bat Nazmul Hossain|
|Fall of wickets 1-68 (Nazimuddin, 16.4 ov), 2-68 (Jahurul Islam, 17.5 ov), 3-81 (Tamim Iqbal, 23.1 ov), 4-170 (Nasir Hossain, 42.3 ov), 5-179 (Shakib Al Hasan, 43.4 ov), 6-190 (Mushfiqur Rahim, 45.1 ov), 7-218 (Mashrafe Mortaza, 47.4 ov), 8-233 (Abdur Razzak, 49.5 ov)|
|Toss Bangladesh, who chose to field
Series Pakistan won the 2011/12 Asia Cup
|Player of the match Shahid Afridi (Pakistan)
Player of the series Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)
|Umpires SJ Davis (Australia) and IJ Gould (England)
TV umpire S Ravi (India)
Match referee DC Boon (Australia)
Reserve umpire Masudur Rahman
Match Facts and Predictions
Just how momentous is Bangladesh’s passage to the Asia Cup final? Decide for yourself after taking a look at these figures. In nine previous Asia Cup editions, Bangladesh had played 29 matches and won two, against Hong Kong and UAE. Out of three games this time, they have won two, against World Cup 2011 finalists India and Sri Lanka, and lost a close match to Pakistan.
For Bangladesh’s tireless supporters, starved of success but never lacking in passion, this is like finding a fertile delta in a desert. A sea of the darker shade of green will be cheering every run that Bangladesh score tomorrow and every Pakistan wicket that falls. Victory won’t be demanded, though; an appearance in the final is already a windfall for the fan.
How will the Bangladesh players approach this game, probably the biggest in their cricketing careers so far? Apart from blanking New Zealand some time ago at home, this is the first time they have put together consistently solid performances for three games running against world-class opposition. Will the fourth time prove to be too much? Will the pressure of a final, something they have hardly experienced, restrict the freedom with which they bat? Will their bowling and fielding be able to hold together?
Whatever be the result tomorrow, Bangladesh’s surge to the final holds the promise of another close match. They will fight; if they go down, they will still be heroes. If they win, they’ll become part of folklore in the years to come. Either way, a bit of history has already been created.
While tomorrow’s contest pales before the fervour an India-Pakistan final would have generated, Pakistan won’t mind running into Bangladesh. They have relied on their bowling, as they often do, for getting them to the final. The one time their batting appeared to have almost won a game for them, they ran into Virat Kohli.
Pakistan have underperformed in the Asia Cup, winning it only once compared to the four titles each won by India and Sri Lanka. A second title beckons tomorrow, unless Bangladesh can ride on the passion and momentum and play beyond themselves again.
Bangladesh: WWLLL (most recent first)
In the spotlight
Had Shakib Al Hasan been playing for some of the bigger Test sides, he would have been given a lot more respect than a player of his calibre currently is. He averages 54.50 with the bat and 22.29 with the ball in ODI wins. He carries the expectations of Bangladesh fans lightly and more often than not, puts in a telling contribution. He was Man of the Match in the hosts’ wins over India and Sri Lanka and would have got the award against Pakistan had the Bangladesh lower order not collapsed around him. The hosts have found Nasir Hossain, but for the moment, as Shakib goes, so do Bangladesh.
Umar Gul helped Pakistan avoid defeat against Bangladesh with a three-wicket burst that included the wickets of Nasir and Shakib. One new ball or two, Gul has found reverse swing. When asked how he was getting such movement with a lush green outfield in Mirpur, he pointed to the dry-looking square. Bangladesh were able to survive the threat of Lasith Malinga on Tuesday. Gul will come hard at them tomorrow, especially after going for runs against India.
Nazmul Hossain took three wickets against Sri Lanka on his comeback in place of the injured Shafiul Islam. Bangladesh could go in with the same side that beat Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh (possible): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Nazimuddin, 3 Jahurul Islam, 4 Nasir Hossain, 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Mashrafe Mortaza, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Nazmul Hossain, 11 Shahadat Hossain
Pakistan went in with five bowlers against India, but Wahab Riaz, included in place of the specialist wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed, went for 50 in four overs. Sarfraz is expected to return for the final, freeing Umar Akmal of the additional responsibility of keeping wicket.
Pakistan (possible): 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Nasir Jamshed, 3 Younis Khan, 4 Umar Akmal, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Hammad Azam, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 9 Umar Gul, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Aizaz Cheema
Stats and trivia
Pakistan have made the Asia Cup final for only the third time. In their previous final (at Dhaka in 2000), they won by 39 runs. Bangladesh, on the other hand, have made their first final of a multi-nation tournament since reaching the final of the tri-series at home in 2009
If Bangladesh go on to win the final, they will become only the second team after Australia (2003 World Cup) to beat India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in a single tournament
“I was out of the country and having a holiday, when these things were happening. It gave me some rest and mental freshness. I wanted to prove myself in the game after I came back. I worked hard and it’s going alright.”
With three half-centuries in three games, Tamim Iqbal has more than proved his point after having been left out of the Asia Cup squad originally.
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