Babar Azam-led Pakistan began the Super 4s of the Asia Cup 2023 with a stunning seven-wicket win over Bangladesh at the Gaddafi Stadium on Wednesday, September 6. Bangladesh were bundled out for a below-par 193 runs in 38.4 overs after winning the toss and batting first. Skipper Shakib Al Hasan (53) and wicketkeeper-batter Mushfique Rahim (64) were instrumental for Bangladesh, scoring half-centuries. Meanwhile, Haris Pauf and Naseem Shah led Pakistan’s bowling attack, claiming four and three wickets, respectively.
Imam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Rizwan starred with the bat as Men in Green chased down the target in 39.3 overs. The opening batter scored 78 off 84 deliveries while the wicketkeeper-batter played an unbeaten 79-ball 63 runs, including seven boundaries and one maximum. Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, and Mehidy Hasan picked one wicket each for Bangladesh.
Talking Points from the 7th match between Pakistan and Bangladesh:
Shakib Al Hasan led the charge for his team
Shakib Al Hasan led his team from the front after the top-order was cheaply dismissed by the Pakistan bowlers. The all-rounder scored a gritty knock of 57-ball 53 runs with the help of seven fours. He along with Mushfiqur Rahim (64) added 100 runs for the fifth wicket.
Haris Rauf’s outstanding bowling spell
Haris Rauf was Pakistan’s standout bowler in the first innings. The 29-year-old finished with excellent figures of 4/19 in his six-over spell. The pacer has also added a new feather to his cap, becoming the joint-third fastest bowler to pick 50 wickets for Pakistan.
Imam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Rizwan’s shines for Pakistan
Imam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Rizwan spearheaded Pakistan’s innings, scoring fifties. The duo added a 74-run stand for the third wicket during the chase. Rizwan smashed an unbeaten 63 runs to help his side to chase down the target in 39.3 overs.
Losing skipper Shakib Al Hasan said:
We lost at the start, they bowled really well and we played some ordinary shots. On a wicket like this, we shouldn’t have lost four wickets in 10 overs. We had a very good partnership, we should have got going for 7-8 overs. After I got out, there were no more partnerships. Very poor batting display on a surface like this. We have to take it on our chin and move to the next one as we have another game in a couple of days. They (Pakistan) are the number one team, they’ve got three world-class frontline bowlers. If they can do that, it gets easier for their batsmen. We have been doing well in our bowling department. Batting at this moment is little bit hot and cold. We need to be consistent and that’s what we’ll try to do. Our three seamers bowled brilliantly. They have been bowling well for the last couple of years. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the wickets. It wasn’t a pitch where you can get wickets unless batsmen make a mistake. When I played the LPL, the pitches were slow. If that happens, it suit us better. Hopefully we do well in Colombo.
Winning skipper Babar Azam said:
Too much heat, but full credit to the fast bowlers. First Shaheen and then Haris Rauf. We planned on picking Faheem because we saw the pitches here, there was grass on it and we like that also. Always when we play here, the crowd supports us and I hope all of them enjoyed this match. (On playing India) This win will give us confidence, we are always ready for a big match. We will give our 100% in the next match.
POTM Haris Rauf said:
It was hot out there, but I’ve played a lot of cricket here. I play PSL for Lahore, the crowd always expects us to perform here. Before any game, we do plan as a bowling unit. We talk about bowling to different plans based on the game phase. Hard length was tough to play here, and the plan was to keep bowling stump to stump. Didn’t need to go to the yorker today. I keep working hard and I have high goals for myself, I want to be the Player of the Series in this Asia Cup, let’s see how the tournament proceeds.
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