Pakistan clinch the Asia Cup
In a thrilling Asia cup final, Pakistan beat Bangladesh by 2 runs to become the champions of Asia.
Earlier, Bangladesh produced a fine bowling display before a late burst propelled Pakistan to 236 for nine in the final of the Asia Cup cricket tournament on Thursday.
After recording two upsets in the form India and Sri Lanka already in the event, giant-killers Bangladesh are in with a golden opportunity to create history by halting Pakistan within a reachable target.
But if not for some lacklustre bowling by Shahdat Hossain towards the end and useful contributions from Shahid Afridi (32) and wicket-keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed (46 not out), the target could have been much lower for Bangladesh.
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.
Young Sarfaraz top-scored for Pakistan with an unbeaten 46, while Shahid Afridi played a 22-ball 32-run cameo to wriggle Pakistan out of trouble.
Mohammad Hafeez (40), Umar Akmal (30) and Hammad Azam (30) all failed to capitalise on good starts.
For Bangaldesh, experienced pacer Mashrafe Mortaza (2/48)), and spin duo of Abdur Razak (2/26) and Shakib Al Hasan (2/39) scalped two wickets apiece, while Nazmul Hossain (1/36) and Mahmudullah (1/14) picked up one each. Shahdat conceded 63 runs off his nine overs.
Backed by a partisan home crowd, Bangladesh made a dream start to their maiden Asia Cup title quest by striking early blows after inviting Pakistan to bat. (Indian Express)