In a dramatic deul between pakistan and bangladesh, Pakistan dismantled hosts by 21 runs in the first match of the asia Cup Cricket held at Sher-e-bangla stadium, Mirpur.
Pakistan batting first set a target of 262 for Bangladesh to chase. Pakistan's openers batted well and Hafeez scored massive 89, while Nasir scored 54. But those following did not do well. Younis could only score 12 and captain Misbah barely made eight. Shahid Afridi who was short of one run of his 7000 in the ODI was dismissed without realizing his target and was back home empty handed at zero. Bangladesh's Shakib and Shahadat had really cornered Pakistan's batsmen and it looked Pakistan team would be all back in the pavilion with 230 or at best 240.
But then came Umar Gul, the fast bowler of Pakistan. He stood his ground and added valuable 39 for Pakistan, that ensured a target of 262.
Bangladesh did well initially with opener Tamin scoring impressive 64 and Shakib scoring magnificently 64 too. But then Pakistan's bowlers struck with fury and every bowler seemed to be bagging wickets. Umer took three while Hafeez, Ajmal and Afridi took two each and Cheema one. This heavily curtailed Bangladesh to score and in the last overs, Bangladesh needed two dozens with same number of balls. But then the last three overs were deadly with Ajmal, Cheema and Umer preying on the tail enders and brought them to fall.
Bangladesh was all out for 241 - thoush last dismal by Umer Gul created some hope in the dejected Bangladesh crowd when a no ball appeal was launched - but was dismissed and the last wicket was secured by Umer Gul.
Although Umer Gul was a strong contender for the man of the match award for his impressive 3 for 58 and 39 runs at the crucial stage, Muhammad Hafeez gets the award for his tremendous 89 and later taking two wickets for 40.
So well played Bangladesh and congratulations Pakistan for winning over the hosts in the first match of the tournament.
Now it is India vs Sri Lanka on 13 March. India would definitely try to scrub away the scars left by the Australian tour and Sri Lanka would too like to win over India to carry on with its superb form it had displayed against the Australians in the recently concluded Commonwealth Bank Series cricket.