Pakistan defeats Bangladesh to maintain their chances of advancing in the Cricket World Cup.
Pakistan kept their slim hopes of reaching the World Cup semi-finals alive by dominating Bangladesh on Tuesday, winning by seven wickets.
Bangladesh chose to bat first, but they were unable to bounce back from a collapse in the top-order. They ended up being all out for 204 runs in the 46th over at the Eden Gardens.
The Pakistani team’s trio of fast bowlers performed well both at the start of the match and towards the end, with only Mahmudullah (56) from Bangladesh managing to score a half-century.
The openers Fakhar Zaman (81) and Abdullah Shafique (68) shared a 128-run stand to set up a Pakistan victory that came with 17.3 overs to spare in a significant boost to their net run-rate. Babar Azam’s team moved into fifth place after their third win in seven matches, while Bangladesh became the first team to drop out of contention.
“Our attempts to push for success have been unsuccessful,” stated Shakib Al Hasan, the captain of Bangladesh, following their sixth loss out of seven matches. “We need to work together, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. We are searching for solutions, but they seem to elude us.”
The coach of Pakistan, Grant Bradburn, expressed disappointment over the lack of swing in India, which reduced the effectiveness of their usually strong pace attack. However, he must have been pleased when Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim, and Haris Rauf, all fast bowlers, took eight out of ten wickets against Bangladesh.
Afridi, the left-handed bowler, took his 100th one-day international wicket when he trapped Tanzid Hasan lbw with his fifth delivery. In Afridi’s following over, he also dismissed Najmul Hossain Shanto, causing Bangladesh to struggle at 23 for three. In the sixth over, Mushfiqur Rahim was caught behind off Rauf’s bowling.
Litton Das and Mahmudullah halted the decline, but Bangladesh was unable to make a comeback. Shakib scored 43, but Wasim’s final seven deliveries resulted in three wickets, leading to Bangladesh’s quick downfall.
Substituting Imam-ul-Haq in the lead position, Fakhar regained his stride as he and Abdullah took control from the beginning. One delivery after Abdullah reached his fifty with a run off Taskin Ahmed, Fakhar achieved his own milestone in a more impressive way by smashing the pace bowler for a six over his head.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz, the off-spinner, successfully got Abdullah out lbw, despite the batter’s challenge. Babar also lost his wicket and Fakhar, who hit seven sixes, came close to scoring a century. However, Pakistan’s win was inevitable at that point in time.
Babar expressed his team’s determination to win their remaining games and assess their chances for the semi-finals. He also mentioned that this victory will boost their confidence for future matches.