Misery for Pakistan as Bangladesh seal historic series win

DHAKA: Tamim Iqbal smashed a second consecutive century to steer Bangladesh to their first ever one-day series win over Pakistan with a seven-wicket victory in the second match in Dhaka on Sunday.
The left-handed opener hit an unbeaten run-a-ball 116 as the hosts, chasing Pakistan’s 239 for six, cruised home in the 39th over to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

The new-look Pakistan, with just four World Cuppers in their ranks and led for the first time in a series by Azhar Ali, needed a massive improvement after their 79-run defeat in Friday’s opening match.

But a top-order collapse pushed them in a corner and left the tourists seeking a consolation win in the third and final match at the same Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Saad Nasim and Wahab Riaz hit unbeaten half-centuries to lift Pakistan to a seemingly competitive score after they were reduced to 77-5 by the 22nd over of the day-night international.

Tamim, who made 132 in the previous match, made a mockery of the target after racing to his half-century off just 31 balls.

Junaid Khan removed fellow-opener Soumya Sarkar cheaply for 17, but Tamim calmed the home supporters’ nerves with three successive boundaries off both Saeed Ajmal and Wahab Riaz.

By the time Ajmal bowled Mahmdullah for 17 to give Pakistan their second wicket, Bangladesh had taken control of the game by reaching 100 in just 14 overs.

Mushfiqur Rahim, who also hit a century in the first game, continued his good form with 65 off 70 balls as Bangladesh ended their series drought against Pakistan with 71 ball deliveries to spare.

Shakib Al Hasan hit the winning run soon after Tamim, who struck 17 fours and six, completed his sixth one-day century by gliding Junaid to fine-leg.

Earlier, Nasim was unbeaten on 77 in only his second international and Riaz struck 51 off 40 balls as Pakistan crossed the 200-run mark on the slow pitch.

Nasim began the rescue act by adding 77 for the sixth wicket with Haris Sohail, who made 44.

Skipper Azhar Ali and Sarfraz Ahmed put on an opening stand of 36 before the top-order crumbled in dramatic fashion.

Seamer Rubel Hossain had Sarfraz caught at slip by Soumya Sarkar off his first delivery, before spinner Arafat Sunny bowled the experienced Mohammad Hafeez for zero in the next over.

Left-arm spinner Shakib removed Ali for 36 through a catch by wicket-keeper Rahim, and trapped Mohammad Rizwan leg-before for 13.

In between those two dismissals, Nasir Hossain bowled Fawad Alam for a duck to open up the lower order.

Bangladesh were boosted by the return of captain Mashrafe Mortaza, who had missed the opening match due to a one-match ban for his team’s slow over-rates at the World Cup.

Mortaza, playing his 150th one-day international, claimed one wicket when he took a return catch to end Sohail’s resistance.

Published in Dawn on April 19, 2015.

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