An all around performance in all departments helped Bangladesh seal a victory against Pakistan, winning by five wickets, in Match 8 of the Asia Cup T20 2016 at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium on Wednesday.
Chasing Pakistan’s total of 129/7 in 20 overs, Bangladesh finished with 131/5 with five balls to spare. Soumya Sarkar scored an impressive 48, helping his side steer beyond the finish line.
The openers for Bangladesh got off to a decent start, with the ball coming nicely on Tamim Iqbal and Sarkar’s blades. The pair seemed to hit the ball quite well to sail Bangladesh to what was looking like a comfortable chase. However, Iqbal fell to Mohammad Irfan, scoring 7.
Sarkar was timing the ball beautifully, his score of 48 comprising of one six and five fours, NDTV Sports reports. His partnerships with Sabbir Rahman (14) and Mushfiqur Rahim (12) were helpful in providing the impetus his side needed to ensure they won the game. But with Sarkar’s fall of wicket, a beautiful yorker by Mohammad Amir, and the side still requiring 47 from 40 deliveries, scales started tilting a little in Pakistan’s favour.
It was then that batsmen Mahmudullah (22 not out) and Mashrafe Mortaza (12 not out) consolidated a nice partnership, holding on to their nerves and hitting occasionally, to clear the coast and pave the way for an impressive victory against the opponents. The hosts won with five balls remaining.
Pakistan, who had opted to bat earlier in the day, did not impress with their batting. A rather disappointing start, they lost three quick wickets for merely 18 runs inside the first five overs. In came Sarfraz Ahmed, whose unbeaten 58 gave Pakistan the hope of ending up with a modestly dependable total. Umar Akmal departed within no time as well, scoring only four runs. In the ninth over, Pakistan found themselves in extreme danger with 28/4. Pakistan were reduced to 28-4 in the ninth over.
Sarfraz and Shoaib Malik, who scored 41 off 30 balls, took charge of the situation thereafter, putting together a partnership that helped Pakistan cross the 90-run mark.
Malik’s stint was brought to a close by Arafat Sunny. Shahid Afridi returned to the pavilion without scoring a run.
With the emphatic win, Bangladesh now meet India in the all important Asia Cup final, BBC reports. The final will be played on Sunday, March 6.