Asia Cup 2023, Super 4, Bangladesh vs Pakistan: Haris Rauf's 4-19, Mushfiqur Rahim-Shakib Al Hasan's 100-run stand and Imam-ul-Haq's 78 are top performances. Pakistan beat Bangladesh and move to top of the table.
Brief Scores: Pakistan 194/3 (Imam 78, Rizwan 63*, Shoriful 1/24) beat Bangladesh 193 (Rahim 64, Shakib 53, Rauf 4/19) by 7-wickets.
Player of the match: Haris Rauf (4/19)
After registering a massive victory against Nepal and a washout fixture over India, Pakistan locked horns with Bangladesh for the first Super Four stage of the Asia Cup 2023 game at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
In their last five meetings since 2015, Bangladesh won four games against Pakistan, which had to be satisfied with one victory.
Talking point: Fierce Pakistan pace attack exposed Shanto-less Bangladesh batting line-up
In both the previous games for Bangladesh, Najmul Hossain Shanto saved Bangladesh from the early struggle with his gritty knocks. Still, in his absence, Bangladesh's top order collapsed thanks to the savage pace attack of Pakistan.
Even though Bangladesh tried to play some aggressive shots, the swing of Shaheen Shah Afridi or the pace of Haris Rauf was too hot to handle for the batters.
All around, Pakistan comfortably bagged another vital victory
On winning the toss, Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan decided to bat first under scorching heat on a solid batting surface. Pakistan left out Mohammad Nawaz to add Faheem Ashraf. At the same time, fit Litton Das returned for Bangladesh, replacing Najmul Hasan Shanto, who was ruled out of the competition with a hamstring injury.
With the ball, Pakistan was right on the money from the first over. Even though Bangladesh looked to bat aggressively, they were reduced to 49/4 in 10 overs before the 100-run fifth wicket stand between Shakib and Mushfiqur Rahim recovered them to 176/6 in 35 overs. However, with the fall of Shakib, the rest of the batting fell like a pack of cards as they were bundled out for just 193 in 38.4 overs.
Chasing a low target, Pakistan cautiously started with 37/1 in the first 10 overs before pressing the aggressive button to reach 114/2 at the halfway mark. Bangladesh pacers were asking a few questions in between, but Imam-ul-Haq’s 78-run knock and Mohammad Rizwan’s 63-run knock shouldered Pakistan over the line by seven wickets.
Let’s scan the top three performances from the first Super Four game between Pakistan and Bangladesh in Lahore
Raw pace from Haris Rauf punctured Bangladesh with 4/19
One of the greatest features of the bowling of Haris Rauf is his raw pace, and he was too hot to handle for the Bangladesh batters.
Coming into the attack during the seventh over, Rauf straightaway sent back Mohammad Naim on 2, who, aiming to pull the short ball, was late in timing as the ball ballooned off the top edge before ending in the hands of Rauf himself. Coming back in his second over, Rauf broke the stumps of Towhid Hridoy on 2, who, looking to clip the ball, was beaten by the pace.
When he was recalled in the 37th over, Rauf again caged the ‘big fish’ in the form of Mushfiqur Rahim on 64, who, covering a big help across the line, got a faint edge into the hands of the wicket-keeper. On the next ball, Rauf again found the edge of Taskin Ahmed, whose feet were pinned on the crease.
Haris Rauf finished his fiery spell with 4/19 in his six overs to have 53 ODI wickets in 27 games at an average of 23.81.
Veteran duo Shakib-Rahim recovered Bangladesh with a century stand
By the time Rahim joined Shakib in the middle, Bangladesh was in trouble at 47/4 inside 10 overs before the experienced pair began the repairing job.
Both didn’t take chances at the start, mainly focusing on singles before Shakib clipped Shaheen Afridi through square leg for a boundary. Rahim swept Shadab Khan in front of the square for another four. With back-to-back boundaries against Faheem Ashraf behind the square region, the duo reached their 50-run stand.
With Agha Salman again swept behind square by Rahim, Shakib decided to use his feet to go down the ground for a boundary. With a single, he reached his 54th ODI fifty in just 53 balls as they brought up their century stand before Shakib was dismissed on 53 to now have 7301 ODI runs in 238 innings.
With a couple of runs, Rahim reached his 46th ODI fifty before returning to the hut on 64 to now have 7359 runs in 254 ODI innings.
Imam-ul-Haq took Bangladesh home with a 78-run knock
Coming into the game, Imam-ul-Haq had an awesome record in ODIs against Bangladesh with 184 runs in two innings with one century and one fifty. He carried the same tempo in this chase, too.
After settling on the track, Imam punched Taskin Ahmed for three boundaries in the seventh over, one of which was beautifully slapped through the square leg region. When Hasan Mahmud came into the attack, Imam sliced him at deep backward square leg before pulling him for a six.
With a six against Mehidy Hasan Miraz over long-on, Imam celebrated his 19th ODI fifty in 61 balls before driving Shakib into the same position for the same result. He pulled Miraz over deep mid-wicket for another six to now have 55 ODI runs in 72 balls against Miraz, besides one dismissal.
He was finally dismissed on 78 in 84 balls with the help of five boundaries and four over boundaries to now have 2967 ODI runs in 65 innings.
Stats highlights from Bangladesh vs Pakistan, Asia Cup 2023
Haris Rauf is now the third joint fastest (27) with Waqar Younis to reach 50 ODI wickets for Pakistan.
The fifth-century partnership between Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim is the joint second-most hundred-run stand for the fifth wicket or below in ODIs, along with Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh.
Pakistan’s 13th win in 14 games against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup is the most against an opponent in the tournament.
Points table scenario and what’s to come
With the win, Pakistan gets two points in the super fours at a net run rate of +1.051.
Sri Lanka will meet Bangladesh on September 09 at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.