Mushfiqur Rahim and Mustafizur Rahman lift Bangladesh into Asia Cup final

Bangladesh 239 (Mushfiqur 99, Mithun 60, Junaid 4-19) won Pakistan 202 for 9 (Imam 83, Mustafizur 4-43) for 37 races



Sanjay Manjrekar questions Bangladesh's decision to have one of their best hitters in the n. ° 7

In the end, this loss could be a minor relief for Pakistan. It can only be an accusation of the tournament format and calendar that a team could play so badly and still be a game from a title shot. Pakistan, barely able to hold on to a performance together, finally had its vacillating hopes of an unlikely Asian Cup triumph extinguished by a Bangladeshi team that, that day, simply did what it needed with ruthless efficiency, dispatched Pakistan for 37 races and secured a final date with India.

To thank two men at opposite ends of their careers, an epic rescue act by Mushfiqur Rahim followed by the four-figure Mustafizur Rahman for 42 that drove out Sarfraz Ahmed's men from a tournament that never really took off.

Despite all the progress that Bangladesh has made in limited cricket over the years, this was still an exceptionally brave effort by the men of Mashrafe Mortaza. They arrived at the match after having learned that their talisman, Shakib al Hasan, would not play any other part in the tournament. Tamim Iqbal had not been available since the first game. Mashrafe himself would be limited to halfway in the innings of Pakistan, having been injured by taking a shout in the midfield to possibly make the most important dismissal of the party: that of Shoaib Malik.

This was not a complete force in Bangladesh, but they invented for it, with calculated and intelligent cricket, and an understanding that, under these conditions, they could play with their strengths.

Chasing 240, Pakistan was a slight favorite halfway through, but Bangladesh gave them a taste of their own medicine, reducing them to 18 by 3 in the first four overs. Mustafizur was brilliant in the first throws, it could be said that he was the only one in all the tournaments to get the new ball to move occasionally. Its variations were judged perfectly; he seemed to understand the psyche of the Pakistani batsman better than they did. Both Babar Azam and Sarfraz did not read the cutters, they paid the price with their windows and revealed the fragile central order of Pakistan within the first five sums.

Imam-ul-Haq made a couple of attrition associations with Malik and Asif Ali that kept Pakistan dreaming until the last ten overs, but in truth, they were never really advanced in the game after that initial outburst. The entries of Imam did not have the fluency of Mushfiqur, nor his conviction and confidence. The Bangladesh spinners, ideally suited to strangle teams in the middle of the chase, followed the template perfectly. One ticket every few overs gave Pakistan a bloody nose, allowing the young Mustafizur, who already looked like a leader at age 23, to return to deliver the coup de grace. He trampled all the extravagant hopes that Pakistan could have housed, eliminating Mohammad Nawaz and Hasan Ali, key actors in the persecution of Afghanistan, in quick succession, and from there all that Pakistan could do was delay the inevitable. 19659006] It looked like a different script at the beginning of the game, a brilliant start by Junaid Khan and Shaheen Afridi that reduced Bangladesh to 12 by 3. He left Mushfiqur in need of another rescue act, and true to the reputation of the diminutive wicketkeeper he undertook. that task with the grim determination that has defined his career, an association of 144 races with Mohammad Mithun that helps Bangladesh out of that mess and put 239, a total to which they would happily have joined after a nightmare of the first seven overs .

The same Mushfiqur had the bad luck to stay a little below one hundred, becoming the first cricketer in Bangladesh to be fired at 99 in international cricket. It was not just the statistical milestone that was lost; With his dismissal, the hopes of Bangladesh to accumulate a total of more than 250 disappeared completely.

Pakistan had much to thank Junaid. Given his first start of this tournament, the southpaw put on the best fast bowling performance of Pakistan with figures of 9-1-19-4.

None of the intermediate orders on the international side have made a greater proportion of their team's races since the beginning of 2017 than Bangladesh, and one can see why in games like these. There is a discussion to make Mushfiqur beat too low in this lineup, especially since neither Shakib nor Tamim are playing, and watched the best hitter on his side by a distance, guiding his side from the edge of the cliff, and helping Mithun to grow in confidence around him.

Once they saw the initial burst, they began to get comfortable very quickly. Sarfraz, a man under pressure on many fronts in recent days, did not have his best day as captain, taking off Afridi and Junaid after only four overs each. They were the only bowlers who threatened to take wickets in that first phase, and once the out-of-form Hasan Ali conceded seven runs of his first pass, the association was underway.

The Pakistan field was another contention point, Sarfraz I'm never sure if he wanted to enter first or not. Several edges passed through that position, but never when the man was inside.

The defense of a defensive field was particularly weak given the pressure Bangladesh was under, and Mushfiqur's experience allowed him to take risks while his side made its way back to parity.

Pakistan's spinners lacked penetration, as they have throughout the tournament, which allowed the association of the fourth wicket to continue to develop, threatening to take the contest away from Pakistan. It was not until the faster bowlers were reintroduced that a breakthrough came, with a short handover by Hasan Ali persuading to an upper edge of Mithun, which allowed him to complete the simplest captures.

From there, the fastest bowlers continued In the lower middle order, the layoffs continued to hamper Bangladesh's ambitions to establish a total that they would really be confident to defend. Junaid returned to the bowl as spectacularly as he had started the day, taking two more fields and perhaps enjoying his best performance in a Pakistan shirt since recovering from the debilitating knee injury that hindered his career for so long. Afridi at the other end played his part as Bangladesh came down at the end, losing their last four wickets for 18 runs.

He might have seemed a little shy at the time, but Mustafizur and the spinners were about to take charge, and ensure Mushfiqur's efforts were not in vain. As they look towards the final glory against India, the recriminations in Pakistan could be really serious.


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