Afridi powers Pakistan to finals

A blinder from Shahid Afridi hammered 59 off only 25 balls bludgeoning two boundaries and seven sixes before being run out.

Umar AKmal smashed a boundary through the midwicket to bring up the winning runs.

Fawad Alam (74) paced his innings brilliantly to bring his team to coast, but was run out with his team requiring two off two balls.

The Tigers fought till the end but in the end but fell short at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur.

Bangladeshi skipper Mushfiqur Rahim dropped Afridi on 52 off Al-Amin Hossain with Pakistan still needing 41 runs off 22 balls.

Alam scored his fifty off 57 deliveries, holding one end patiently to help push his team forward.

The threat of Ahmed Shehzad (103) was negated by Abdur Razzak who yorked him. Abdur Rehman, who came up the order, holed out Ziaur Rahman off Mahmudullah moments later.

Opener Shehzad hit a crucial ton to keep Pakistan’s huge chase on track. His fifth century came off 117 balls laced with twelve boundaries and a six.

After a solid 97-run opening stand between Mohammad Hafeez (52) and Shehzad, the favourites lost three wickets in as many overs within the space of eight runs. Bangladesh spinners pegged Pakistan’s chase back as batsmen turned to caution.

They tied things down bowling two maiden overs on the trot before Mominul Haque drew the first blood for the hosts, sending back dangerous Mohammad Hafeez for 52.

Shakib Al Hasan then breached the defences of captain Misbah-ul-Haq (4). Mominul then had Sohaib Maqsood caught behind for 2 even though replays showed the bat had made no contact with the ball.

Earlier, 97-run opening stand between Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez (52) built a solid platform for Pakistan’s chase; it ended when Hafeez holed out to Imrul Kayes off Mominul Haque.

Bangladesh, deciding to bat first, put up a colossal 326 – their highest ODI total – for three.

The hosts’ onslaught of 122 runs in the last 10 overs and brilliant batting by the top-order helped them surpass the 300-mark.

Excellent cameos from Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan, unbeaten on 51 and 44 respectively, added 77 off just 34 deliveries.

Shakib looked like a man on mission plundering the bowling at will. Pakistan’s bowling and fielding went to pieces as the hosts went past 300, much to the delight of the vociferous and partisan Dhaka crowd.

A solid 150-run opening stand between Anamul Haque and Imrul Kayes, the best in the tournament, gave hosts a strong foundation.

Anamul brought up his second ODI hundred off 131 deliveries, smashing six fours and four sixes before he was sent back by Saeed Ajmal.

Imrul added 59 before he was caught off a Mohammad Talha delivery.

Mominul Haque joined the batting feast scoring his third ODI fifty as Bangladesh pummelled the Pakistan attack to all parts of the ground. He was the last casualty for Bangladesh.

Bangladesh went past the 320 they scored against Zimbabwe in 2009. Bangladesh made 121 runs from the last 10 overs. The crowd shrieked in delight, while the stunned Pakistan team walked away at the interval.

Source: Bd news24

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