Dubai, Sep 28 (AP/UNB) — India vice-captain Shikhar Dhawan said the six-time champion would not take surprise package Bangladesh lightly in Friday's Asia Cup final.
An under-strength Bangladesh side fought like tigers to beat Pakistan on Wednesday in a Super Four match that was essentially a semi-final.
Pakistan, chasing 240 to win in Abu Dhabi, was restricted to 202-9 by a team lacking two of its best performers. All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has a finger injury, while batsman Tamim Iqbal fractured his wrist in the opening match of the tournament against Sri Lanka.
Shakib and Tamim are now back in Bangladesh and will miss the final.
India has been in rampant form, beating Pakistan by eight wickets and nine wickets, and Sri Lanka by seven wickets.
"Even though it is not Pakistan in the final, it changes nothing for us," Dhawan said. "We are not going to take Bangladesh lightly. I think they are a fantastic team. Bangladesh has improved in leaps and bounds over the last few years."
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza is under no illusions about the size of the task facing his team.
"I know it will be difficult against India, but what we have managed to achieve so far in this tournament, especially without Shakib and Tamim, who have repeatedly been our match-winners in the past, is commendable," Mortaza said.
"We played yesterday so it goes without saying that we are physically tired. We just have to manage that. I still think we can beat India, but we really have to have spells in the match that go our way."
Dhaka, Sept 26 (UNB) – Bangladesh dismissed three top-order batsmen of Pakistan within 3.3 overs conceding just 18 runs after posting 239/10 in a virtual semifinal of the 14th Asia Cup at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz brought the first breakthrough for Bangladesh in his 5th ball of the innings very 1st over as dismissing opener Fakhar Zaman, who was caught by Rubel Hossain at Pakistan’s collection of 2 runs.
Then the cutter-master Mustafizur Rahman got two quick wickets Babar Azam and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed within a span of 15 runs.
Mustafiz trapped lbw Babar Azam on 3/2 in 1.2 overs while Sarfraz Ahmed was caught behind by Mushfiqur Rahim on 18/3 in 3.3 overs.
Shoaib Malik [4* off 11b] and Imam-ul-Haq [6* off 17b] were on batting in the 4th wicket partnershipwhen Pakistan collection was at 25/3 * in 7 overs.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Mithun once again salvaged the Bangladesh innings from a perilous spot, helping the Tigers recover and also go on to post a potentially winning total, despite failing to bat their full complement of overs.
Mushfiq and Mithun’s 4th wicket partnership of 144 runs off 29.2 overs dominated the Bangladesh innings and completed the turnaround from 12/3.
Opting to bat first, Bangladesh will be disappointed to have batted just 48.5 overs for their collection.
Mushfiq meanwhile will be disappointed at missing out on a 7th ODI century by a whisker, out playing a tired shot on 99 that featured nine boundaries off 116 balls.
Mithun completed his second ODI half century – both in the ongoing Asia Cup and both with Mushfiq partnering him at the other end. Eventually he was out for 60 off 84 balls, including four boundaries.
Mithun was removed from 4th partnership on 156/4 in 33.4 overs as he was caught and bowled by Hasan Ali.
Mushfiq was caught behind by Sarfraz Ahmed off Shaheen Shah Afridi when scoreboard showing for Bangladesh at 197/6 in 41.4 overs.
Mushfiq and Mithun came together after Liton Kumar Das’s dismissal on 12/3 in 4.2 overs, which was a big blow after opening batsman Soumya Sarkar and Mominul Haque’s dismissals on 5/1 in 2.5 ovrs and on 12/2 in 3.5 overs respectively.
Mahmudullah Riyad [25 off 31b; 1x4], skipper Mashrafe Mortaza [13 off 13b; 1x6] and Mehidy Hasan Miraz [12 off 11b; 1x4] were other double digit scorers for Bangladesh.
Left-handed pacer Junaid Khan captured four wickets for 19 runs while Shaheen Shah Afridi [2/47] and Hasan Ali [2/60] and Shadab Khan [1/52] shared five wickets for Pakistan.
However, both Mushfiq and Mithun played heroic roles for Bangladesh’s victory of 137 runs against Sri Lanka in the tournament opener where diminutive Mushfiq hit his ODI best 144 and Mithun completed his maiden ODI half century alongside they shared a partnership of 131 off 23.3 overs in the 3rd wicket.
Dhaka, Sept 25 (UNB) – Bangladesh will play unpredictable Pakistan in a virtual semifinal of the 14th Asia Cup in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday eyeing to reach the final.
The Super-Four stage match of the six-nation tournament will begin at 5:30pm Bangladesh time and the winner of the game will be India's opponents in the final on September 28.
Bangladesh team head coach Steve Rhodes said, “Pakistan are a tough cricketing nation… and they can very much bounce back. I am trying to not give our tactics away.”
Mustafizur's last-over heroics handed Bangladesh the win against Afghanistan, and bowling in the last five overs is fast becoming his biggest strength. In the last three years, he has been one of only two bowlers to have an economy rate of under six per over during that period in ODIs.
The Tigers are dangerous against any side with bowling from Mustafiz as his skilled mix of slower balls, yorkers and bouncers troubles big-hitters. Captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Mehidy Hasan Miraz often keep it tight in the first Power-play while Mustafizur, Shakib Al Hasan and Rubel Hossain keep the run-rate down in the middle.
But Bangladesh’s bowling unit strength becomes worthwhile only when the batsmen post at least a competitive total.
Liton Kumar Das' 41 would be encouraging for the team management but his opening partner in the last three games, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, has made a poor start to his ODI career with just 20 runs.
As a result, Imrul Kayes, who made 72 batting at number six in the previous game, for the first time in his career, may be sent to number three with Mohammad Mithun reverting back to number five. It would mean they have two senior batsmen in Imrul and Shakib in the top four, while in-form Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad have the capability to stop a batting collapse or, in a better situation, go after the bowling in the last 10 overs.
Pakistan’s ODI set-up with Mohammad Amir wicket-less in his last six ODIs has been surprising, while Hasan Ali, the only quick bowler picked in every game in the Asia Cup, has taken three wickets at 51.66 each. Shadab Khan therefore has to take up responsibilities against a Bangladesh batting line-up that can be susceptible against legspin.
Pakistan would also have to pick up their fielding; having dropped too many catches in their last two matches against Afghanistan (five) and India (three). On top of these bowling and fielding woes, Pakistan also needs runs from three batsmen among their regular top six.
Fakhar Zaman, who made a record 210 against Zimbabwe in July, has so far made just 55 runs in the tournament. Captain Sarfraz Ahmed and Asif Ali have made 58 and 46 respectively in the four matches so far. Runs have mostly come from Shoaib Malik, Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq, but against Bangladesh's efficient bowling line-up they cannot afford a top-order collapse or a poor finish.
Shoaib Malik has been Pakistan's main scorer in the tournament, having made 181 runs in four matches. He would also want to improve his ODI record against Bangladesh, having scored just one half-century against them in 13 innings.
Bangladesh usually do not make changes when they have just won a game, especially when they are playing at the same venue.
Batting and bowling woes may tempt Pakistan into trying out Shan Masood and Junaid Khan for the first time in the tournament. But it also does not mean the likes of Faheem Ashraf, Haris Sohail and Usman Khan cannot be hopeful of a place in the XI.
Bangladesh best XI (probable): Liton Kumar Das, NazmulHossainShanto, Mohammad Mithun, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, ImrulKayes, MahmudullahRiyad, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (captain), MehidyHasanMiraz, Nazmul Islam and MustafizurRahman.
Pakistan best XI (probable): Imam-ul-Haq, FakharZaman, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Usman Khan and Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Dubai, Sep 24 (AP/UNB)— Openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan hit centuries as India thrashed rival Pakistan by nine wickets in the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup on Sunday.
India scored 238-1 in 39.3 overs in reply to Pakistan's 237-7.
It was India's largest ODI victory margin in terms of wickets against Pakistan, surpassing its previous best of eight wickets in the group stage of the same tournament and on five other occasions.
"We asked something like this from the boys and they delivered," said Sharma. "Our bowlers have just been outstanding ... The most important thing here is to bat as long as possible because it can become difficult for the new batsman coming in. We did exactly that."
Batting first after winning the toss at the Dubai International Stadium, Pakistan's total rarely looked like posing any challenge for India.
Sharma was 111 not out off 119 balls at the end, while Dhawan scored 114 in 100 before he was run out.
Dhawan made his second century of the tournament and the 15th of his ODI career, while his captain Sharma scored his 19th ODI ton.
Pakistan was guilty of dropping Sharma twice — once on 14 with the Indian total on 29 and then when he was on 81 — and he took full advantage of the reprieves. His innings included seven fours and four sixes.
In contrast, Dhawan played a chanceless knock and smashed 16 fours and two sixes. The 32-year-old from Delhi was finally dismissed when he was run out after an opening stand of 210.
India is now almost assured a place in the final on Friday. It will take on Afghanistan on Tuesday in its last Super Four stage match, while Pakistan will have to beat Bangladesh in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Earlier Sunday, Pakistan managed a much better effort than its 162 in the group stage against India.
Pakistan's innings was built around Shoaib Malik's defiant knock of 78 in 90 balls and his 107-run partnership for the fourth wicket with captain Sarfraz Ahmed (44 in 66).
Jasprit Bumrah took 2-29 in 10 overs as he stifled the Pakistan batsmen. Pakistan went from 193-4 in 42 overs but could add only 44 runs in the last eight overs.
"We had our chances, but we did not hold on to the catches," said Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur. "These boys can catch 150 balls during nets, but it could be a case of lacking confidence on the field."
Both teams won their opening Super Four stage matches. India was dominant in its comprehensive seven-wicket win over Bangladesh, while Pakistan triumphed over Afghanistan with just three balls to spare.
Dhaka, Sep 24 (UNB) - Mustafizur Rahman kept his head cool and six deliveries of an excruciating final over exactly where he needed to , conceding just four runs when the plucky Afghans needed 8, to secure a three-run victory in their Super-Four game of the 14th Asia Cup at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Sunday night.
Bowling his 9th over as the team’s last, The Fizz, as Mustafiz is lovingly known throughout the cricketing fraternity, worked in all the variety and intelligence that he has picked up in various arenas, including the IPL and BPL. Having been behind the required run rate for much of their innings, the Afghans entered the last 5 overs needing 51 to win with 5 wickets in hand - if there was to be a charge at victory, this was it.
It was the way in which Mohammad Nabi and Samiullah Shenwari commenced the charge that must have rattled Tigers fans. Playing with an aplomb and assuredness belying their almost-novice status. The first four of those overs went 11-9-12-11. There was no reason to believe 8 off the last over would pose any particular difficulty even. But importantly in the previous over, Shakib al Hasan had managed to lure the dangerous Nabi into holing out (38 off 28) to break his breezy partnership with Shenwari.
The Afghans were in need of eight off last six balls for a 250-run chase with all-round nemesis Rashid Khan at the striking end. Rashid managed two off
the first ball before brilliantly caught and bowled by Fizz in the next ball.
Samiullah Shenwari got one leg by run while Gulbadin Naib gave a dot in the next before having one leg by run in the 5th ball, keeping their side needing a four off one last ball.
Afghanistan ended the innings on 246 for 7 in 50 overs where number-four batsman Hashmatullah Shahidi [71 off 99b; 5x4] and opener Mohammad Shahzad [53 off 81b; 8x4] played careful innings with their half centuries.
Skipper Asghar Afghan [39 off 47b; 2x4] Mohammad Nabi [38 off 28b; 2x4; 2x6] and Samiullah Shenwari [23* off 19b; 1x4; 1x6] appeared as a threat to Bangladesh’s win in the middle-order.
Mustafiz [2/44], Mashrafe Bin Mortaza [2/62], man of the match Mahmudullah [1/17] and Shakib Al Hasan [1/55] shared six wickets to squeeze Afghan innings.
Earlier, Mahmudullah Riyad and Imrul Kayes’s doughty 6th wicket partnership of 128 alongside their half centuries turned Bangladesh early disastrous face for a decent 249/7 against Afghanistan.
Mahmudullah hit top-scored 74 off 81 balls, including three boundaries and two sixes, while unbeaten Kayes stayed for 72* off 89 balls with six boundaries for Bangladesh’s second most scoring innings and for the first time playing full 50 overs in the tournament till the date.
Starting from a miserable 87/5 in 20.5 overs, Mahmudullah-Kayes carried the team collection to 215/6 in 46.2 overs as both shared a 25.3 overs boosting partnership innings before Mahmudullah was caught by Rashid Khan off Aftab Alam.
Opting to bat, Bangladesh, in the beginning, showed the same spirit of their last two matches, losing two wickets early within the 6th over for an 18-run, and continued down towards before Mahmudullah and Kayes played a comeback innings to cross the decent 200 runs mark.
Mushfiqur Rahim came in and set well to crease in the 3rd wicket with opener Liton Kumar Das to recover early hamper. But opener Liton hurried to play a poor shot off Rashid Khan to end an impressive innings when scoreboard showing 81 for 3 in18.4 overs.
Liton [41 off 43b; 3x4] fell nine runs short for his maiden ODI half-century as he was caught by Ihsanullah, sharing a partnership of 63 off 13.1 overs with Mushfiq.
Shakib Al Hasan came in and played just one ball before the miss communication of understanding with Mushfiq to be run out with a duck on the same score in the last ball of 19th over.
Bangladesh suffered the next blow in the penultimate ball of the 21st over with another run out as Mushfiq failed to way back to reach at his non-striker’s end from halfway, coming out following Imrul Kayes’s shot off Rashid Khan on 87/5 in 20.5 overs from where Mahmudullah and Kayes started the morale-boosting innings.
With day’s score, Mushfiq [33 off 52b; 2x4; 1x6] crossed the 5000-runs mark in ODIs, starting the game from a seven-run behind, after Tamim Iqbal and Shakib among Bangladesh players while become world’s 84th cricketer to achieve this feat. Mushfiq aggregated so far 5026 runs from 190 matches with an average of 33.73 runs.
Skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza [10 off 9b; 1x4] was another double-digit scorer for Bangladesh.
Aftab Alam [3/54], Mujeeb Ur Rahman [1/35] and Rashid Khan [1/46] shared five wickets for Afghanistan.
Super-Four stage table
Place Team M W L PT NRR
1 India 2 2 0 4 1.333
2 Pakistan 2 1 1 2 -0.556
3 Bangladesh 2 1 1 2 -0.645
4 Afghanistan 2 0 2 0 -0.065