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Asia Cup 2014: Inspired Bangladesh set Pakistan huge 327-run target

Anamul Haque scored his second century in ODIs © AFP
Anamul Haque scored his second century in ODIs © AFP

By Shrikant Shankar

Mar 4, 2014

Bangladesh posted a massive total of 326 for three in 50 overs against Pakistan in the eighth match of the Asia Cup 2014. Anamul Haque top-scored with 100 while Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque and Mushfiqur Rahim scored half-centuries. Shakib Al Hasan scored a quick-fire 44 off 16 deliveries. This is the first time a score of 300-plus has been achieved in this Asia Cup.

All the Bangladesh batsmen contributed as the Pakistan bowlers had no clues. Saeed Ajmal was the pick of the bowlers taking two wickets, but he conceded 61 runs. But it was an abject performances from Pakistan in the field. There were too many misfields as Bangladesh also posted their highest One-Day International (ODI) total.

Earlier, Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur won the toss and elected to bat first. The hosts made five changes to their side that lost to Afghanistan. Shakib, Kayes, Mahmudullah, Shafiul Islam and Al-Amin Hossain were included in the starting XI. Pakistan also made two changes from the side that beat India. Opener Sharjeel Khan sat out with an injury and was replaced by Fawad Alam. Abdur Rehman comes in for Junai Khan.

The Bangladesh openers first began cautiously. But then Abdur Rehman came into the attack and bowled three above the waist no-balls first up. The Pakistan left-arm spinner was banned from bowling in the match. He created a dubious world record by registering completed figures of 0-0-8-0 in an international cricket match.

After that the openers let loose. Anamul hooked three short deliveries for sixes over fine-leg. Kayes also struck a few sixes as the scoring-rate picked up. Anamul first brought up his half-century. Kayes then joined in with his 10th half-century in ODIs.

Kayes was eventually dismissed for 59 off 75 deliveries. Mohammad Talha bowled a short delivery and the left-handed Kayes went for a heave on the leg side. The ball took a deflection and went to wicketkeeper Umar Akmal. The Pakistan players appealed and the umpire initially seemed to wave it off but eventually raised his finger.

Replays showed that the ball might have taken the deflection off Kayes’s left shoulder, but there was a big noise as the ball went past the bat. He struck five fours and two sixes in his innings.

Mominul joined Anamul and scored freely. He was more crafty and got fours square of the wicket on both sides. Anamul then reached his second century in 39th over. But he soon skied one from Ajmal to Ahmed Shehzad at deep mid-wicket. He struck six fours and four sixes. The duo added 54 runs for the second wicket. Mominul then reached his half-century as well.

But soon after he too was dismissed by Ajmal. He mishit a slog-sweep to Mohammad Hafeez at deep square-leg. Mominul was dismissed for 51 off 47 deliveries. Mushfiqur and Shakib then powered Bangladesh towards the end.

Shakib started off with a four towards point. Talha bowled a full-toss outside off-stump and Shakib placed it in the gap on the off side. Mushfiqur scored an unbeaten 51 off 33 deliveries with eight fours. Shakib smashed six fours and two sixes in his cameo. To date Bangladesh have never lost an ODI when they’ve scored 300 or more.

Brief scores:

Bangladesh 326 for 3 in 50 overs (Anamul Haque 100, Imrul Kayes 59, Mominul Haque 51, Mushfiqur Rahim 51*, Shakib Al Hasan 44*; Saeed Ajmal 2 for 61) vs Pakistan.

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(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)

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