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Hafeez, Gul star as Pakistan beat Bangladesh

Agencies / 12 March 2012

Pakistan posted a 21-run victory over Bangladesh in the opening match of the Asia Cup one-day tournament in Dhaka on Sunday.

Opener Hafeez top-scored with a solid 89 and then grabbed two wickets, while Gul made a crucial 39 and took three wickets before Pakistan bowled Bangladesh out for 241 after posting 262-8 in the day-night match in Dhaka.

The duo upstaged Bangladeshi all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who sustained his team’s hopes with a 66-ball 64 before being the last man out. Hafeez was named man of the match.

Despite the victory, Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq struck a downbeat note, describing the match as tough and urging his batsmen to raise their game.

“We should have got 300 runs,” he said.

“We just have to lift our performance. We need to be more positive and we can’t just repeat these mistakes. The bowlers are winning games for us for the last year and a half, but we need to support them.”

The hosts were struggling at 135-5, but Shakib and Nasir Hossain (47) gave some anxious moments to Pakistan with an 89-run stand for the sixth wicket.

Bangladeshi opener Tamim Iqbal, initially dropped from the squad by the country’s cricket chief before being added as a 15th member, scored 64 with the help of one six and six fours.

But Hafeez bowled well-set Tamim and trapped Mohammad Mahmudullah leg-before with his next delivery before Gul dismissed Nasir and Shakib to complete Pakistan’s victory.

“We just couldn’t finish well. We are not winning most of the times after getting into such situations,” said Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim.

“We were really close. Pakistan got a solid start, but our bowlers came back really well taking some important wickets. Our batsmen were also chasing quite nicely, but Nasir’s wicket was the turning point of the match.”

Pakistan were earlier well placed at 160-1 following a 135-run stand for the opening wicket between Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed (54) before they lost six wickets for just 38 runs.

Paceman Shahadat Hossain (3-53) and left-arm spinner Shakib (2-41) did the damage, but Gul added 53 vital runs for the eighth wicket with Sarfraz Ahmed (19 not out).

Pakistan made a steady start after being put in to bat as Hafeez and Jamshed batted confidently against both pace and spin, playing some handsome shots during their 27.5-over stand.

Jamshed, who played his last one-dayer in August 2009, hit one six and five fours in his 64-ball knock before he was run out soon after completing his fifth half-century.

Shahadat started Pakistan’s slide when he dismissed Younis Khan (12), Hafeez and Asad Shafiq (four) in successive overs.

Hafeez looked set to reach his fourth one-day hundred before he was caught by Shafiul Islam at square-leg while attempting to pull Shahadat. He hit seven fours in his 126-ball knock.

Shakib removed Umar Akmal (21) and then held a return catch in the same over to account for Shahid Afridi after fumbling twice before finally holding the ball as it ricocheted off non-striker Misbah.

Afridi, who was just one short of 7,000 one-day runs, failed to open his account.

Defending champions India and Sri Lanka are the other teams in the fray. Each side will play the other once in the round-robin league, with the top two advancing to the final on March 22.

SCOREBOARD

Pakistan=

Mohammad Hafeez c Shafiul Islam b Hossain 89

Nasir Jamshed run out 54

Younis Khan c Razzak b Hossain 12

Umar Akmal c Razzak b Shakib 21

Asad Shafiq c Mortaza b Hossain 4

Misbah-ul-Haq b Razzak 8

Shahid Afridi c & b Shakib 0

Sarfraz Ahmed not out 19

Umar Gul b Mortaza 39

Saeed Ajmal not out 8

Extras: (2lb, 4w, 2nb) 8

TOTAL: (for eight wickets) 262

Overs: 50.

Fall of wickets: 1-135, 2-160, 3-169, 4-175, 5-192, 6-193, 7-198, 8-251.

Did not bat: Aizaz Cheema.

Bowling: Mashrafe bin Mortaza 10-0-55-1 (1w), Shafiul Islam 8-0-49-0, Shakib Al Hasan 10-0-41-2 (2w), Shahadat Hossain 8-0-53-3 (2nb), Abdur Razzak 10-0-43-1, Mahmudullah 4-0-19-0 (1w). Bangladesh=

Tamim Iqbal b Hafeez 64

Nazimuddin c Gul b Cheema 30

Jahurul Islam b Afridi 23

Mushfiqur Rahim b Afridi 3

Shakib Al Hasan b Gul 64

Mahmudullah lbw b Hafeez 0

Nasir Hossain b Gul 47

Abdur Razzak b Ajmal 1

Mashrafe bin Mortaza b Ajaml 1

Shafiul Islam lbw b Gul 1

Shahadat Hossain not out 0

Extras: (2lb, 5w) 7

TOTAL: (all out ) 241.

Overs: 48.1.

Fall of wickets: 1-45, 2-90, 3-100, 4-135, 5-135, 6-224, 7-228, 8-230, 9-235.

Bowling: Mohammad Hafeez 10-1-40-2 (2w), Umar Gul 9.1-0-58-3 (2w), Saeed Ajmal 10-0-45-2 (1w), Aizaz Cheema 9-0-47-1, Shahid Afridi 10-0-49-2.

Result: Pakistan won by 21 runs.

Toss: won by Bangladesh.

Umpires: Ian Gould, England, and Paul Reiffel, Australia.

TV umpire: S Ravi, India. Match referee: David Boon, Australia.

 
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