London: Pakistan needed to score more than 400 runs and then win by 316 runs against Bangladesh to qualify for the semi-finals of the ICC World Cup. This was essential to better New Zealand’s nett run rate. However, batting first, they could muster only 315 for nine in 50 overs, despite Imam Ul Haq’s 100 and Babar Azam’s 96. Based on that score, Pakistan then needed to bowl Bangladesh out for seven runs to qualify for the semi-finals! In the end, however, they could bowl Bangladesh out for 221 in 44.1 overs — a creditable 94-run win at Lord’s, but certainly not enough to achieve a near-improbable target.
Bangladesh, who were already out of the last-four reckoning, needed one over and five balls to go past the seven-run mark that effectively shut the semis doors on Pakistan. Pakistan’s 19-year-old left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi produced his first five-wicket spell (six for 35) in One Day Internationals (ODI) to destroy Bangladesh. This snapped Bangladesh’s four-match victory-run over Pakistan in recent matches.
This was the first time that Bangladesh played an ODI at Lord’s, but they were unable to make it a memorable. This despite the fact that their star players — all-rounder Shakib Al Hassan and left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman — came up with a stellar show.
Shakib, who hit 64, joined India’s Sachin Tendulkar for the most 50-plus scores in a single World Cup, scoring his seventh half-century of the tournament. He ended his campaign in this World Cup with 606 runs, making him the third among those who scored the most runs in a single World Cup.
Mustafizur, who had emerged Bangladesh’s highest wicket-taker in a single edition of the World Cup, produced a spell of five for 73 today to go past the 100-wicket ODI mark in this 54th match.
Given the almost-impossible target of beating Bangladesh by 316 runs in today’s match to qualify for the semifinals, the Pakistan fans wanted their team to go for a 400-plus total, but it wasn’t an easy wicket to bat on and hit bowlers with ease. Opener Fakhar Zaman’s poor show in this World Cup ended with yet another disappointing knock. He scored just 13 today, before slashing at a wide delivery from Mohammad Saifuddin to Mehidy Hassan at backward point. This was followed by a 157-run partnership off 24.3 overs for the second wicket between Azam and Haq. When Azam reached 60, he broke the record of 437 runs scored by Javed Miandad for most runs by a Pakistani in a single edition of the World Cup. His century was just four runs away when he got trapped leg-before by Saifuddin. Even a review could not save him.
Haq notched his first century in the World Cup and seventh in ODIs, but fell in an unfortunate manner getting out hit-wicket as his back-foot touched the wicket. He had added 66 runs for the third wicket with Mohammad Hafeez (27), who also quickly followed sweeping Mehidy in the air to Shakib Al Hassan at deep backward square leg. Imad Wasim, boosted the total with a 43 off 26 balls.
Bangladesh began their chase losing their opener Tamim Iqbal, who once again let his team down by falling for just eight runs. Soumya Sarkar began with a lot of promise with a run-a-ball 22, but fell to a fine catch by Zaman when he attempted an uppish cut to Mohammad Amir. When Mushfiqur too fell for just 16, bowled by Riaz’s accurate pace, Pakistan took control of the match for good.
Shakib unleashed his strokes and put on 58 runs for the fourth wicket with Liton Das (32), with the latter also stroking well. Das, however, misjudged a slower delivery from Afridi to spoon a catch to Haris Sohail at extra-cover.
In the 33rd over, Afridi ended Shakib’s innings, forcing him to edge to the wicketkeeper for 64. Pakistan fans chanted the name ‘Afridi’ like they used to do for Shahid Afridi in the past, as he virtually ran through the Bangladesh batting line up today.