Pakistan were never the favourites to pull off this next-to-impossible task in London on Friday, but they did bow out of the tournament with a good win against their Asian opponents. Bangladesh’s campaign finished with a big defeat, but they will remember this edition for a very long time to come, especially for the exploits of Shakib Al Hasan with the bat and ball.
Pakistan won the toss earlier and decided to bat first. They had to go after the bowlers right from the outset, but Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq didn’t seem like they wanted to try for a 400-plus total. Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam added 157 runs for the second wicket, which ended with Babar Azam getting trapped in front of the stumps agonizingly for 96. He surpassed Javed Miandad’s longstanding record of most runs in a single World Cup campaign.
Imam-ul-Haq didn’t miss out on his hundred though registered his 7th 3-figure score in ODIs and also his first in World Cup cricket. They lost some quick wickets towards the end, which didn’t help them accelerate the scoring. But Imad Wasim‘s late blitz helped them score 315 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in their 50 overs. Mustafizur Rahman picked up another 5-fer in the tournament.
Shakib continues his golden touch but Shaheen steals the show
Bangladesh’s whole campaign has been surrounded by their star outlet Shakib Al Hasan and he delivered a performance which will be cherished and remember for years. He once again registered a half-century after their openers departed quickly, making him the first cricketer in World Cup history to score eight 40+ scores in a row.
He did get some good support from Liton Das, but just the way it has been in this tournament, it wasn’t good enough. The Pakistani bowlers, led by Shaheen Shah Afridi, soon launched an assault which was about to blow the Tigers away. After breaking this partnership by picking up Liton Das, Shaheen soon dismissed Shakib for 64, but not before the all-rounder completed 600 runs in the tournament.
There was some resistance from the middle order, especially Mahmudullah and Mosaddek Hossain, but Shaheen Afridi was beginning to breathe fire and ran through their lower order. He ended up picking 6 wickets for 35 runs, which also turned out to be the best by a Pakistani bowler. Bangladesh got bowled out for 221 runs and handed Pakistan a 94-run win to bow out with.
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