Asia Cup 2018: Junaid picks up four, Bangladesh all out for 239
Junaid Khan picked up 4/19 from nine overs. (Getty Images)

Playing his first game of the Asia Cup 2018, Junaid Khan showcased a fine display of fast bowling to restrict Bangladesh to 239 in the final Super four game of the tournament. Junaid, who replaced Mohammad Amir, picked up 4/19 in nine tidy overs to strangle Bangladesh towards the beginning and the end of the innings, setting Pakistan a target of 240 to book a place in the final against India on Friday.

The innings could be divided in three phases – overs 1 to 5, in which Junaid and Shaheen Afridi restricted Bangladesh to 12/3. Overs 5 to 34, which saw Bangladesh stage a tremendous fightback courtesy a record 144-run stand. And finally, the final 15 overs, where Bangladesh lost the plot once both set batsmen departed. Between overs 44 to 48, Pakistan gave away only 16 runs with Junaid returning to pick up two more. However, despite that, Bangladesh would be content putting up a competitive total in the virtual semi-final.

Pakistan made a bold call picking Junaid over Amir in one of the more important games for them in the tournament. But the left-arm pacer responded well. He sent back both openers, cleaning up Liton Das to a peach of a delivery. Afridi did the same to Mominul Haque and all of a sudden, Bangladesh had their most experienced batsman – Mushfiqur Rahim – out there. In the absence of Shakib Al Hasan, who was out due to a fractured finger, the supporting role was performed by Mohammad Mithun. Through them, Bangladesh weathered the storm and fought back. Mushfiqur and Mithun matched each other shot for shot and put on the highest fourth-wicket stand for Bangladesh against Pakistan.

Both batsmen reached their half-centuries, setting Bangladesh up for a big total. But their dismissals arrived at crucial moments. Mithun had scored nine boundaries before playing a lose shot to Hasan Ali. Mushfiqur looked on course to bring up his second century of the tournament, but fell one short of it, making him the first Bangladesh batsman to get out for 99. Pakistan then hit back by reintroducing Junaid and Afridi towards the end, who stifled the run-rate towards the end. Mashrafe Mortaza scored Bangladesh’s only six in the 49th over, which was also the final of the innings.

Brief score: Bangladesh 239 all out (Mushfiqur Rahim 99, Mohammad Mithun 60; Junaid Khan 4/19) in 48.5 overs.