the 145-run opening partnership did the job for Bangladesh © AFP
The 145-run opening partnership did the job for Bangladesh © AFP

Exactly one week ago, Bangladesh celebrated the ‘Nababarsha’ (Bengali New Year). Now here comes their ‘Nababarsa’ present on behalf of Mashrafe Mortaza and Co. A 3-0 series victory against the old enemy Pakistan. Catch the cricket scorecard of Bangladesh vs Pakistan 3rd ODI at Dhaka here

Thanks to the maiden and unbeaten hundred by young Soumya Sarkar and a responsible half century by Tamim Iqbal, the spirited ‘Bangla Tigers’ thrashed an out of sorts Pakistan by eight wickets in the third and final One-Day International (ODI) at Dhaka. They chased down the target of 251 in just 39.3 overs. For the 16 crore people of Bangladesh today is nothing less than a ‘Poila-Boisak’. Streaming: Bangladesh vs Pakistan 3rd ODI

The word ‘Nababarsa’ means a new year, a new beginning. For Bangladesh cricket it is indeed a start of a new era. An era when a Bangladesh victory won’t be termed as an ‘Upset’. An era when big boys like India, Australia, England will invite Bangladesh in their countries to play full series. An era, when Bangladesh cricket will get the respect, which they deserve, from the cricketing fraternity.

It was thoroughly professional display by the home team. The target of 251 was not enough for this spirited Bangladesh team. But still they needed to do the job, and they did it very professionally, very efficiently, like any other top ODI team. Still 63 balls were left to bowl when Bangladesh finished the game. It showed the dominance of Bangladesh top order against the Pakistan bowlers, who did not have a clue against the onslaught of Soumya and Tamim.

In the start of the innings, both Bangladeshi openers were bit circumspect. The started off the chase carefully, took their time initially and played out the new ball. Against two left-handers, Pakistan captain, started with the off-spin of Mohammad Hafeez, whose action was cleared by International Cricket Council (ICC), from one end. The first 10 overs only produced 48 runs. But both, Tamim and Soumya never looked under any kind of pressure.

The acceleration came after Bangladesh went was the 100-run mark. First Soumya reached his half-century in 63 balls, followed by Tamim’s, whose fifty took 63 balls. After his back to back hundreds in the series, the crowd at the at Shere Bangla National Stadium were expecting another Ton from him. But Junaid Khan, trapped him in front of the stumps for 64. Mahmudullah who came at No. 3 also didn’t last long. From 145 for no loss, Bangladesh slipped to 154 for Two. But still there were no worry in the Bangladesh camp.

Soumya and Bangladesh’s Mr consistent Mushfiqur Rahim ensured that there was no further hick ups. Their unbeaten 97-run partnership saw Bangladesh through. In the course of this, young Soumya reached his milestone, a maiden hundred. Rahim hit the winning runs with a boundary to Junaid, and registered his name in the history.

Earlier in the start of the day, Pakistan skipper Azhar won an important toss and elected to bat first. With a rain forecast later in the day, the decision was highly questionable. Pakistan made three changes to the team that lost the last game. Rahat Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed and a out of sorts Saeed Ajmal are not playing. Umar Gul, Zulfiqar Babar and young Aslam replaced them. Bangladesh decided to field an unchanged side.

This was a pressure game for Azhar, both as a batsman and skipper as Pakistan were fighting to save a white-wash. They had an excellent start. Their openers Azhar himself and debutant, Sami Aslam came out with a lot of positive intent. On a slowish track, where the bowl was turning both of them attacked the Bangladesh new ball bowlers.

This prompted Bangladesh skipper to introduced spinners early. Though it did not had any effect on the Pakistan openers. The first wicket fell in the 18th over when Aslam got out to Hossain’s off-spin for 45. Hafeez, who came in at No. 3 also did not last long. His poor form continued as the right-hander was cleaned up by the left-arm spin of Arafat Sunny. Form 91 or no loss, Pakistan were suddenly 105 for two. From there Azhar and Haris Sohail took over and formed a 98-run partnership, which gave Pakistan the launching pad for the last 10 overs.

But Bangladesh pulled it back big time and managed to restrict Pakistan to just 250. At one point when they were 203 for two in the 39th over and it seemed Pakistan will score well in excess of 300. But some reckless batting by their middle order and tight bowling by Bangladeshi bowlers, mostly by spinners pushed them back as Pakistan lost their last eight wickets for just 47 runs.

The the major highlight of the Pakistan innings was the classy and fighting hundred of Azhar Ali, who became the first Pakistani captain to score an ODI hundred since 2010. But it went in vain.

Both teams will lock horn in the one-off T20 International at the same venue on Friday, which will be followed by a Two match Test series starting from April 24.

Brief scores:

Pakistan 250 in 49 overs (Azhar Ali 101, Haris Sohail 52 ; Shakib al Hasan 2 for 34, Rubel Hossain 2 for 43, Arafat Sunny 2 for 43) lost to Bangladesh 251 for 2 in 39.3 overs (Tamim Iqbal 64, Soumya Sarkar 127; Junaid Khan 2 for 67) by 8 wickets.

Full Scorecard

Photo Gallery

Man of match: Soumya Sarkar

(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at CricketCountry. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting, and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)