Dhaka: Pakistan defeated Bangladesh by 2 runs to in a nerve wracking contest to lift the Asia Cup for the 2nd time. Bangladesh won people’s heart all around the world with their fabulous performance.
Mushfiqur Rahim won the toss and decided to bowl first. Bangladesh started well first by taking the wicket of Nasir Jamshed (9) and then Younis Khan (1).
Misbah-ul-Haq (13) in the 15th over found himself stranded in the middle of the pitch and that’s why got run-out. An immense pressure was developed on Pakistani falcons in result of the scoreline 55/3.
Bengali tigers snatched 4th wicket in 22nd over by removing Mohammad Hafeez who struggled and scored 40 runs off 87 balls by hitting 4 FOURS.
Future of Pakistan – Umar Akmal and Hammad Azam built a good partnership of 69 runs to take Pakistan out of this situation. Shakib Al Hasan broke this partnership by taking the wicket of Hammad Azam (30), in the next over Pakistan also lost Umar Akmal (30) in a suspicious way, he was give caught behind but it wasn’t clear in replays that the ball kissed his bat or not on its way to the gloves of keeper.
Shahid Afridi played a much needed innings and scored 32 runs off 22 balls, he hit 4 beautiful FOURS & 1 stunning SIX. Sarfraz Ahmed took some time to get settled but played a sensible knock of 46.
Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal scored 4 runs each. Aizaz Cheema remained not out at 9 with Sarfraz Ahmed (46). 19 runs were bagged by Pakistan in the last over which was bowled by Shahadat Hossain.
Pakistan ended up by scoring 236/9 in 50.0 overs. Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzaq and Shakib Al Hasan took 2, 2, 2 wickets. Nazmul Hossain and Mahmudullah took 1 wicket each.
Bangladesh went off to a good start, Tamim hit 2 FOURS to Gul in 4th & 6th over. Nazimuddin looked nervous but kept his feet on the ground to build a solid partnership.
Nazimuddin enjoyed some luck, first when umpire Steve Davis didn’t gave him lbw out in the 10th over at the immense appeal of Saeed Ajmal and co. ; replays showed that the ball hit him in line and would have gone one to hit the stumps, Nazim was granted with another chance when he was dropped by Hammad in the 12th over at the ball of Cheema.
Pakistan finally in the 17th over got their first breakthrough when Shahid Afridi removed Nazimuddin (16), he was caught in the deep by Younis Khan, it was a superb take.
In the next over, Saeed Ajmal surprised Jahurul Islam (0) with his doosra and bought second wicket for Pakistan, Jahurul was caught in the slip by Younis Khan.
Tamim Iqbal (60) after scoring his 4th consecutive half century chipped one ball to extra cover where Younis took another good low catch. Tamim’s departure silenced the crowd. The score of Bangladesh was 81/3 in 23.1 overs.
Responsibility once again fell at the shoulders of Shakib Al Hasan and Nasir Hossain. Pakistani bowling attack dried up the runs, former captain Shahid Afridi bowled impressive spell and gave only 28 runs in his 10 overs, he also took 1 wicket.
Shakib spanked 2 FOURS to Hammad Azam and released some pressure, his partner Nasir was still feeling it. Pakistan came back strongly again in the batting powerplay but failed to pick up any wicket, those 5 overs went for 21 runs (1 FOUR).
84 runs were required off 60 balls. Shakib first struck FOUR to Gul & then SIX to Cheema. It was all going in the favour of Bangladesh before the fall of Nasir Hossain who became victim of the short ball of Umar Gul, skipper Misbah-ul-Haq took an easy catch at mid wicket. Crowd which was cheering every run was stunned.
Bangladeshi skipper Mushfiqur Rahim who smashed India in the last stages came in to bat in the final but in the next over he lost his partner Shakib who was playing at 68.
Crowd gave Shakib a standing ovation for playing a great innings. Pakistan kept on squeezing the runs and in the result got another wicket, this time the wicket of their captain Mushfiqur Rahim who scored 10.
Now everything was on the tail-enders. 39 runs were required off 24 balls, Mashrafe Mortaza hit 2 FOURS to Umar Gul and shifted the balance back to his team.
Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq gambled by bringing back Saeed Ajmal as he was going to bowl his last over but he proved his captain right by taking the wicket of Mashrafe Mortaza (18).
19 runs were required off 12 balls, Umar Gul bowled very good yorkers but he over-stepped in that over which gave a free-hit to Bangladesh, they got just 2 runs off it but the over went for 10 runs. Mahmudullah and Abdur Razzaq ran through the wickets quite well.
The equation was 9 runs off 6 balls. Misbah-ul-Haq handed over the ball to 32 year old Aizaz Cheema who was feeling huge pressure. Mahmudullah was on the strike, he took single off 1st ball, Abdur Razzaq earned a leg-bye at the 2nd ball, Aizaz bowled a slow legcutter; Mahmudullah didn’t read it and hence missed it, at the 4th ball; Mahmudullah played a shot towards long-off, fielder took time and threw the ball towards the keeper who flicked it onto the stumps but missed the target which resulted in an over-throw, Bangladeshi batsmen ran three runs, Pakistani players were looking dejected for poor work. 4 runs were required off 2 balls. On the next ball, Cheema clean bowled Abdur Razzaq. Some people in crowd were unable to feel the pressure and because of it they were crying, people were praying in and out of the stadium. Aizaz Cheema bowled a yorker on leg stump and Shahadat Hossain only managed to dug it out, he took a single and umpire gave it as a leg-bye.
Pakistan fielders ran towards Cheema and embraced him. He really held his nerve and bowled beautifully in the end. Bangladesh scored 234/8 in 50.0 overs. Aizaz Cheema bagged 3 wickets for 46 in 7 overs, Umar Gul & Saeed Ajmal took 2, 2 wickets and Shahid Afridi took 1 wicket.
Crowd was in deep shock after seeing this dramatic end, even the Bangladeshi players were weeping, those scenes were never easy to watch, tears were in the eyes of Nasir Hossain and Mahmudullah. Bangladeshi captain Mushfiqur Rahim was crying hard by embracing Shakib Al Hasan. It was no doubt a sad end for Bengalis who gave their heart, played an outstanding cricket and showed the world that they are capable of beating any big team. People from all around the world texted, even from Pakistan that “Bangladesh won our hearts”.
In year 2000′ Pakistan won their first Asia Cup under the captaincy of Moin Khan in Bangladesh and now in year 2012′ Pakistan won their second Asia Cup under the captaincy of Misbah-ul-Haq Khan again in Bangladesh. They focused on their target and gifted their nation and fans a beautiful victory, this has doubled the happiness for Pakistanis as they celebrates 23rd March as ‘Pakistan Day’. Many many congratulations to them from ‘World Of Cricket’.
The next Asia Cup will be held in UAE in year 2014′ and there are reports that more then 4 teams will participate in it.
HQ Photo Gallery: Click here and enjoy some eye-catching collection of photos from this match.
Result: Pakistan won by 2 runs.
Man Of The Match: Shahid Afridi (Pakistan).
Man Of The Tournament: Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh).