Bangladesh thrash Pakistan to enter Asia Cup final

Mirpur (Bangladesh), March 2 (IANS) Bangladesh produced a superb all-round performance to outclass Pakistan by five wickets in their Twenty20 clash to enter the final of the Asia Cup at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium here on Wednesday.

Hosts Bangladesh will meet India in the final on Sunday. Pakistan’s hope of making it to the Asia Cup final has been dashed.

Batting first, Pakistan scored 129/7 in 20 overs.

In reply, Soumya Sarkar struck an impressive 48 as Bangladesh successfully chased the target scoring 131/5 in 19.1 overs.

Chasing a challenging target of 130, the home side got off to a good start with openers Tamim Iqbal (7) and Sarkar striking the ball quite well to stay ahead in the run chase.

But Mohammad Irfan brought in the first breakthrough for Pakistan by taking the wicket of Iqbal.

But Sarkar played some good shots, hitting one six and five fours, to help team to a comfortable position. He was well accompanied by Sabbir Rahman (14) and Mushfiqur Rahim (12).

But after the dismissal of both the batsmen, incoming batsmen Mahmudullah (22 not out) and Mashrafe Mortaza (12 not out) held on till the end to steer the home side to victory.

Earlier opting to bat, Pakistan got off to a disappointing start, losing first three batsmen for just 18 runs within five overs.

Incoming batsman Sarfraz Ahmed (58 not out) and Umar Akmal (4) aimed to take charge of the game thereof, but Akmal stay in the crease was cut short by pacer Taskin Ahmed. Pakistan were reduced to 28-4 in the ninth over.

But young Sarfraz and experienced Shoaib Malik (41) held on to add some crucial runs to help Pakistan cross the 90-run mark.

But Bangladesi bowlers came back well to take wickets of Malik and skipper Shahid Afridi (0) to not allow Pakistan cross the 130-run mark.

Al-Amin Hossain (3-25) and Arafat Sunny (2-35) were the pick of the Bangladesh bowlers.

Brief scores: Pakistan 129/7 in 20 overs (Sarfraz Ahmed 58; Al-Amin Hossain 3-25, Arafat Sunny 2-35) vs Bangladesh 131/5 in 19.1 overs (Soumya Sarkar 48; Mohammad Amir 2-26)

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