Mushfiqur Rahim scored a brilliant 99 as Bangladesh produced a stunning upset by defeating pre tournament favourites Pakistan by 37 runs in the last Super Four game, thereby setting up a clash against India in the final on Friday.
After winning to toss and choosing to bat, Bangladesh started their innings disastrously by losing their first three wickets cheaply.
Left arm bowler Junaid Khan, making his first appearance of the tournament in place of the out of form Mohd Amir, started the slide for the Tigers by removing Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar in consecutive overs.
On either side of Junaid’s wickets, Mominul Haque who came in for the injured Shakib Al Hasan, had his stumps castled by rising teenager Shaheen Shah Afridi in the fourth over.
Mushfiqur and Mohammad Mithun steadied the ship by adding 144 valuable runs for the 4th wicket, before Hasan Ali provided the break through by dismissing Mithun for 60 runs. Bangladesh were aided by some bizarre decision making from Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, who took off his pacers when they looked threatening, and allowed Mushfiqur to milk his spinners in the middle part of the innings.
Imrul Kayes soon followed as he was trapped LBW by spinner Shadab Khan for 9 runs.
Wicketkeeper batsman Rahim fell for 99, just one short of a well deserved century. His innings comprised of 9 hits to the fence.
In the end stages Mahmudullah and skipper Mashrafe Mortaza fell while trying to up the scoring rate, as Bangladesh failed to bat the full 50 and were bowled out for 239.
Junaid was Pakistan’s best bowler with figures of 4/19 in 9 overs.
Pakistan chasing a target of 239, were rocked early as they lost Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam with just 3 runs on the board.
Captain Sarfraz Ahmed didn’t last long either, driving at a wide ball to be caught behind as they were reduced to 18/3
Imam-ul-Haq added a vital stand of 67 runs for the 4th wicket with veteran Shoaib Malik, before the in form Malik fell to a brilliant catch by Mortaza off Rubel Hossain.
That brought Shadab Khan to the crease, and the all rounder had an innings to forget, making 4 off 24 balls before falling to a surprise short ball from Sarkar. Shadab’s poor knock also allowed Bangladesh to get their fifth bowler’s quota out of the way, with Soumya and Mahmudullah both going for less than four an over.
The 22 year old Imam added yet another partnership with Asif Ali to keep Pakistan’s hopes alive, with stand in Bangladeshi keeper Liton Das missing an easy catch at a crucial stage in the innings.
With Pakistan needing 75 in 11 overs, Mickey Arthur’s men seemed well placed to win, but Mehidy got Asif stumped, and the pressure created by his wicket maiden got to Imam, who also fell in similar fashion, with Liton atoning for his dropped catch with two quick stumpings.
Pakistan eventually ended up with 202/9 in their respective 50 overs, with the final over, bowled by Mustafizur being a maiden.
The Fizz was Bangladesh’s best bowler with 4/43, while off-spinner Mehidy was economical too, picking 2 wickets for 28 runs in his ten overs.