Pacers power Pakistan to 7-wicket win over Bangladesh in 1st Super 4 game of Asia Cup

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan's pace trio led by Haris Rauf shut down Bangladesh en route to a seven-wicket win on Wednesday in the first Super 4 game of Asia Cup.

The ODI tournament now moves to Sri Lanka, where Pakistan will play archrival India on Sunday for the second time after their group-stage game was abandoned because of rain. Bangladesh will face Sri Lanka on Saturday.

Rauf (4-19) and Naseem Shah (3-34) dismantled Bangladesh’s hopes of putting up a challenging total. Mushfiqur Rahim (64) and captain Shakib Al Hasan (53) combined in a century-stand before the innings folded at 193 in 38.4 overs. Bangladesh had won the toss and opted to bat.

Shaheen Shah Afridi (1-42) got the key wicket of fit-again Litton Das. Faheem Ashraf (1-27) capped a perfect day for Pakistan fast bowlers when he broke the 100-run partnership and had Al Hasan caught at deep square leg.

Half-centuries by Imam-ul-Haq (78) and Mohammad Rizwan (63 not out) led Pakistan to 194-3 with more than 10 overs to spare.

“Credit to all the boys, especially how they are bowling in the first 10 overs,” Pakistan captain Babar Azam said. “We saw the games and fast bowlers were getting a little bit (of) help … winning always gives you confidence.”

Imam survived three close leg before appeals as Bangladesh wasted both television referrals before the lefthander notched his fifth ODI half-century in the last eight games. Imam also successfully overturned an onfield lbw decision against him through TV referral before he was finally clean bowled by Mehidy Hasan Miraz when he went for a slog sweep off a full pitched delivery.

Rizwan then took charge with his trademark sweep shots and couple of impressive inside out boundaries against the spinners over extra cover.

Fakhar Zaman struggled upfront to score 20 off 31 balls before he was trapped leg before wicket by Shoriful Islam in the last over of powerplay off a delivery that nipped back into the left-hander and struck him on the back leg.

Taskin Ahmed then had Babar Azam bowled off a delivery that kept low as the Pakistan skipper played the ball back onto his stumps before Imam and Rizwan raised a match-winning 89-run stand.

Earlier, Mehidy chipped an easy catch to square leg off Naseem Shah’s first ball before Bangladesh had scored. Das, playing his first match in the tournament, edged Afridi after playing a couple of impressive cover drives against the Pakistan pacers and Mohammad Naim was undone by Rauf’s pace as Bangladesh slumped to 45-3 inside the batting powerplay.

Al Hasan and Mushfiqur then showed plenty of confidence against Pakistan pacers and the spinners, hitting 12 boundaries between them, before Ashraf finally got the breakthrough in the 30th over.

Rauf returned and had Mushfiqur and Taskin caught behind off successive deliveries and Naseem, who fell awkwardly on his shoulder and went off the field for six overs, returned and polished off the tail in quick time.

“On a wicket like this we shouldn’t lose four wickets in the first 10 overs," Al Hasan said. "Very poor batting display on a surface like this, but we have to move on to the next one.”


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