Afridi blitz sees Pakistan chase 327 against Bangladesh

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Shahid Afridi smashed the second fastest one-day half-century and Ahmed Shehzad hit a hundred to give Pakistan a three wicket win over Bangladesh on Tuesday and a place in the Asia Cup final.

The 34-year-old, who hit two consecutive sixes to give Pakistan a one-wicket win over India on Sunday, was once again Pakistan's saviour as they chased down their highest-ever target of 327 in 49.5 overs in Dhaka.

Afridi overshadowed a brilliant 123-ball 103 by opener Ahmed Shehzad and a sedate 74 by Fawad Alam who both set the tone for the chase, but it was the aggression of Afridi which helped Pakistan overcame a tough resistance from the hosts.

Pakistan will meet Sri Lanka in Saturday's final.

Afridi, who went into bat with Pakistan needing 101 off 52 balls, smashed paceman Shafiul Islam for a four to reach fifty off just 18 balls, one short of one-day cricket's fastest-ever half-century record held by Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya, made against Pakistan in Singapore in 1996.

He equalled his own record of second fastest one-day fifty, set twice by him. He scored an 18-ball fifty during his 37-ball hundred against Sri Lanka in Nairobi in 1996 and another 18-ball fifty against the Netherlands at Colombo in 2002.

In all, Afridi plonked seven sixes and two boundaries off just 25 balls.

Pakistan's previous best run chase in a one-day was 322-6 against India at Mohali in 2007.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq praised Afridi as “hero.”

“He's really playing well and he's cashing into his form which is really good for us,” said Misbah.

“Everybody knows the kind of player he (Afridi) is when he is in full swing and nobody can stop him.”

Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim admitted Afridi snatched the game.

“When Afridi plays like that there was very little we can do. He took away the game,” said Rahim.

Before Afridi's blitz, it was a remarkable turnaround for the hosts who suffered a shock upset defeat against new-comers Afghanistan in their second match on Saturday.

Bangladesh made several changes after their 32-run loss, the most prominent being all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan's return after he was suspended for three matches over indiscipline.

That paid off as a revamped batting line-up led by Anamul bettered Bangladesh's previous highest-ever total of 320-8, made against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in 2009.

Pakistan too got a solid 97-runs by the 21st over with Mohammad Hafeez (52) and Shehzad in a punishing mood.

But they were derailed by left-arm spinner Mominul Haque (2-37) who dismissed Hafeez and Sohaib Maqsood (two), while Shakib had Misbah for four.

Shehzad completed his fifth one-day hundred but was bowled by Abdur Razzak, after hitting 12 fours and six. Shehzad added 105 runs for the fourth wicket with Alam.

But Alam and Afridi broke the hearts of a capacity home crowd after Bangladesh had been given a chance by their batsmen.

Anamul and Imrul Kayes (59) put on 150 for the opening stand and cashed onto some sloppy fielding and bowling by Pakistan.

Afridi went for 64 runs in his ten overs while paceman Mohammad Talha conceded 68 in seven and Umar Gul 76 in his 10.

But it was the left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman, brought in as one of two changes in Pakistan's squad, who suffered the worst fate as he was suspended from the attack over dangerous bowling.

He became the first bowler in international cricket to concede eight runs without bowling a legal delivery.

Kayes hit five boundaries and two sixes off 75 balls.

Anamul hit six boundaries and four well-timed sixes before he was caught off Saeed Ajmal who took 2-61.

Mominul (51), Rahim (51 not out) and Shakib with a 16-ball 44 comprising six fours and two sixes, made the final touches as Bangladesh scored 121 in the last 10 overs.

PAKISTAN INNINGS

Pakistan inspired by a brilliant half century from Shahid Afridi (59 off 25 balls) produced their biggest ODI run-chase to beat Bangladesh by three wickets at Mirpur on Tuesday to seal their berth in the Asia Cup final.

After Bangladesh had made their highest ODI total of 326-3 having elected to bat first, Pakistan sneaked home with a ball to spare thanks to another spectacular knock from Afridi who smashed seven sixes and two boundaries before being run out in the 48th over.

Fawad Alam, returning to the Pakistan team after three and half years, took over from Afridi by smacking a couple of sixes in the 49th over.

The match went to the wire as Alam run out with Pakistan needing two off the last two balls after making 74 off 70 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.

Akmal smacked a boundary off Al-Amin for the winning hit as Pakistan ended on 329 for seven in 49.5 overs.

Pakistan were set on their way by a brisk knock of 52 off 55 balls by Hafeez who cracked eight boundaries during an opening stand of 97 with Shehzad who kept them in the game with a well crafted century.

Shehzad hit 12 fours and a six in his 103 facing 123 balls before falling in the 39th over.

With the asking rate mounting, Afridi walked into the middle in the 42nd over and turned the game on it's head beginning by blasting five sixes, including three in one over from Shakib to change the equation.

He missed out on equalling Jayasuriya's record for the fastest ODI half century by one ball after reaching it with a boundary off 18 balls.

Afridi was adjudged man of the match for his matchwinning cameo knock as he battled cramps before run out after bringing Pakistan to the brink of victory.

Akmal slams Al-Amin to the midwicket boundary for the winning runs as Pakistan win a cliff-hanger by three wickets and one ball to spare.

After a couple of dot balls to begin the over, there is another twist in the tale at Alam is run out failing to beat a throw from the keeper.  Pak 325-7 in 49.3 overs.

Pakistan are 324-6 in 49 and require three from six balls with Al-Amin bowling the final over.

Alam blasts a couple of sixes off Razzak to take over from Afridi. Pak 314-6 in 48 overs and need 13 from 12 balls.

Pakistan are 296-6 in 47 with Alam (55) and Umar Akmal in the middle and need 31 off 18 balls.

Afridi is hobbling but manages to hoist Al-Amin for his seventh six over fine leg but is run out next ball failing to beat a direct hit from Shakib. Pak 294-6 in 46.5 overs.

Shahid Afridi run out 59 (25b 2x4 7x6)

Rahim drops a skier from Afridi (52) off Al-Amin.

Afridi survives a close call for a catch and is nearly bowled by Shakib. Pak 286-5 in 46 and need 41 from 24 balls.

Afridi continues to change the script lofting a boundary and clobbering Shafiul off consecutive balls but misses out on equalling Jayasuriya's record for the fastest ODI fifty by completing his 36th half century in 18 balls with his second boundary. Pak 281-5 in 45 overs.

Alam gets his fifth ODI half century off 57 balls.

Al-Amin manages to bring some sanity to the carnage caused by Afridi conceding just five runs. Pak 265-5 in 44 overs.

Afridi booms blasting three massive sixes through long-off, long-on and square leg as Shakib goes for 20. Pak 260-5 in 43 overs.

Afridi makes his intentions clear blasting two sixes from the four balls he has faced from Mahmudullah. Pak 240-45 in 42 overs.

Pakistan's experiment with Rehman ends. Pak 225-4 in 41.2 overs.    

Abdur Rehman c Ziaur Rahman b Mahmudullah 8 (8b 0x4 0x6)

Pakistan need 109 off 60 balls.

Rehman survives after the fielder in the deep spills a tough chance as Pak end the Batting Powerplay managing 27 for the loss of Shehzad. Pak 218-4 in 40 overs.

Razzak breaks the partnership as Shehzad tries to give himself room to hit on the off only to york himself. Pak 210-4 in 38.3 overs.    

Ahmed Shehzad b Abdur Razzak 103 (123b 12x4 1x6)

The 100 partnership between Shehzad and Alam comes in 89 balls. Pak 207-3 in 38 overs

Shehzad moves into the 90s by waiting on Al-Amin and hoisting over long leg for a six. Pak 191-3 in 35 overs.

Another big over for Pakistan as Alam cracks Shafiul through the covers while Shehzad pulls to midwicket for a couple of boundaries. Pak 178-3 in 33 overs.

Shehzad is on song cracking consecutive boundaries off Razzak through cover and midwicket. Pak 168-3 in 32 overs.

Alam and Shehzad hit a boundary off Islam in an eventful over in which Bangladesh miss a run out chance after a mix-up between the pair. Pak 157-3 in 31 overs.

Shehzad is stepping up the ante dancing down the track and lofting Nasir for a boundary. Pak 145-3 in 30 overs.

Shehzad smashes consecutive boundaries off Mominul. Pak 139-3 in 29 overs.

Alam hits his first boundary cracking Mahmudullah through the covers. Pak 110-3 in 24 overs.

Maqsood may have been a trifle unlucky with that decision with umpire Llong being played in by the vociferous appeal. Pak 105-3 in 23 overs.

Pakistan are in deep trouble as Maqsood is out caught behind off Mominul. Pak 105-3 in 22.5 overs.

Sohaib Maqsood c Anamul Haque b Mominul Haque 2 (5b 0x4 0x6)

Shakib strikes a major blow as Misbah plays across the line and finds his off stump rattled. Pak 102-2 in 21-5. overs.    

Misbah-ul-Haq b Shakib Al Hasan 4 (4b 1x4 0x6)

Misbah opens his account with a boundary to point to bring up the 100 of the innings. Pak 101-1 in 21 overs.

Hafeez runs out of patience and holes out to Kayes in the deep which brings the Bangladesh crowd to life. Pak 97-1 in 20.4 overs.

Mohammad Hafeez c Imrul Kayes b Mominul Haque 52 (55b 8x4 0x6)

Shehzad gets a much-needed boundary for Pakistan by jabbing Mahmudullah to third man. Pak 97-0 in 20 overs.

Mominul and Mahmudullah bowl consecutive maiden overs. Pak 89-0 in 19 overs.

Hafeez completes his 50 off 43, a knock which contained eight boundaries. Pak 89-0 in 17 overs.

Shehzad sweeps the first ball from Mahmudullah for a boundary. Pak 86-0 in 16 overs.

Hafeez is on a roll hitting a couple of boundaries off Mominul as Pakistan seem to be on course. Pak 79-0 in 15 overs.

Boundaries are coming easily for Pakistan with Hafeez driving Razzak through mid-on while Shehzad cuts him past point. Pak 71-0 in 14 overs.

Shehzad hits the first boundary off Shakib nudging it to third man. Pak 55-0 in 11 overs.

Hafeez finds the gap again on the off with a square cut off Razzak as Pakistan end their mandatory Powerplay overs on 48 without loss.

Shakib bowls a another maiden Shehzad. Pak 42-0 in 9 overs.

Hafeez slams his fourth boundary by pulling Razzak. Pak 42-0 in 8 overs.

Hafeez eases Al-Amin through point for a boundary. Pak 36-0 in 7 overs.

Shakib starts off with a maiden to Shehzad. Pak 26-0 in 5 overs.

Hafeez flicks Al-Amin for another boundary. Pak 26-0 in 4 overs.

Shehzad gets his first boundary with a lovely square drive off Islam. Pak 21-0 in 3 overs.

Hafeez hits the first boundary of the innings with a straight drive of Al-Amin. Pak 16-0 in 2 overs.

BANGLADESH INNINGS

Bangladesh spurred by a brilliant century from Anamul Haque (100) made their highest ever one-day total of 326-3 against Pakistan in the Match 7 of the Asia Cup in Mirpur on Tuesday.

Anamul smashed six boundaries and four sixes as he shared in a blazing 150-run opening stand, their best in three years, with Imrul Kayes (59). 

Kayes was equally aggressive slamming five boundaries and two sixes as they put the Pakistan attack to the sword.

Pakistan were handicapped by the absence of left arm spinner Abdur Rehman who was banned from bowled after beginning with a wide and sending down two consecutive beamers in the 11th over of the match.

But Bangladesh were unstoppable with Mominul (51) adding 54 for the second wicket cracking six boundaries before Anamul fell in the Batting Powerplay.

Skipper Musfiqur Rahim (51 not out) and Shakib Al Hassan (44 not out) took the cue thereafer plundering 77 off 34 balls during their enterprising stand for the unfinished fourth wicket.

Musfiqur's half century came off just 33 balls as he stroked eight boundaries while Shakib returning for a three-ODI suspension clubbed six boundaries and two sixes in his 16-ball 44.

Even Pakistan's ace bowler Ajmal who claimed two for 61 was not spared going for 52 in his last four overs as Bangladesh blasted 121 in the last 10.

Gul goes for 15 in his final over as Shakib smashes a boundary and a six off consecutive balls as Bangladesh finish on 326-3 in 50 overs.

Musfiqur completes his 14th ODI half century off 32 balls.

Ajmal continues to leak runs as Mushfiqur gets a couple of boundaries. Ban 311-3 in 49 overs.

The 50 partnership between Mushfiqur and Shakib comes in just 20 balls. Ban 299-3 in 48 overs.

Shakib takes on Ajmal cracking a couple of boundaries and slamming a six with a flat batted shot past Pakistan's best bowler who goes for 17. Ban 293-3 in 47 overs.

Talha goes for 18 as Shakib gets a couple of boundaries and concedes five wides. Ban 276-3 in 46 overs.

Ajmal goes for 10 despite picking up a wicket as Mushfiqur gets consecutive boundaries with some smart cricket, scooping past the keeper and sliding past short third man. Ban 258-3 in 45 overs.

Ajmal strikes again as Mominul sweeps straight to Hafeez at midwicket. Ban 249-3 in 44.2 overs.

Mominul Haque c Mohammad Hafeez b Saeed Ajmal 51 (47b 6x4 0x6)

Musfiqur slams Gul through the covers a for a couple of boundaries. Ban 248-2 in 44 overs.

Ajmal goes for 14 with Musfiqur hitting consecutive boundaries through midwicket and third man while Mominul completes his third oDI half century. Ban 236-3 in 43 overs.

Mominul flicks Gul to the fine leg fence. Ban 222-2 in 42 overs.

Brilliant bowling from Ajmal restricts Bangladesh to 16 for the loss of Anamul in the Batting Powerplay. Ban 205-2 in 40 overs.

Anamul's magnificent knock comes to an end as he scoops Ajmal for Shehzad to hold a skier. Ban 204-2 in 39-1 overs.

Anamul Haque c Ahmed Shehzad b Saeed Ajmal 100 (132b 6x4 4x6)

Anamul completes a well deserved second ODI century with a single off Hafeez. Ban 204-1 in 39 overs.

Anamul is on 97 and Bangladesh 198-1 in 37 overs.

Maqsood comes into the attack and Mominul helps himself to a boundary. Ban 180-1 in 33 overs.

Mominul pounces on a short ball from Afridi to slash it to third man boundary. Ban 173-1 in 32 overs.

Mominul gets his first boundary whipping Talha through midwicket and then slaps him behind point for anohter. Ban 166-1 in 31 overs.

Pakistan get the first breakthrough as Kayes is adjudged caught behind off Talha with umpire raising his finger after a bit of hesitation. Ban 150-1 in 28.4 overs.    

Imrul Kayes c Umar Akmal b Mohammad Talha 59 (75b 5x4 2x6)

Anamul top edges Talha past the keeper for another boundary. Ban 144-0 in 27 overs.

Kayes slams Afridi through the cover for a boundary to bring up his 10th ODI fifty. Ban 132-0 in 24 overs.

Kayes skips down the track and smashes another six off Afridi over long-on. Ban 121-0 in 22 overs.

Afridi comes into the attack but gets a taste of his own medicine by Kayes who sends him sailing over the cow corner. Ban 101-0 in 18 overs.

Talha goes for 21 as Anamul goes berserk smashing his second six of the over. Ban 92-0 in 16 overs.

Kayes steers Talha behind point for a boundary while Anamul hooks a bouncer for his third six followed by a flick to square leg fence via a misfield to reach his second ODI fifty off 55 balls. Ban 86-0 in 16 overs.

Anamul is on fire clobbering Talha back over his head for a boundary. Ban 70-0 in 14 overs.

Alam continues to bowl and Anamul attacks him slamming him over long-on for a massive six. Ban 63-0 in 13 overs.

Alam completes Rehman's incredible over. Ban 49-0 in 11 overs.

Blow for Pakistan as Rehman cannot bowl in the match again.

Rehman bowls another beamer which is smashes to the fence by Anamul.

Kayes survives after being caught by Maqsood by a waist-high no ball from spinner Rehman.

Anamul hammers Gul over backward square leg for the first six of the match as Bangladesh get 39 for no loss after 10 overs.

Anamul slams Gul past point for his second boundary. Ban 26-0 in 8 overs.

Kayes survives a confident appeal for leg before off Hafeez with replays showing it would have hit leg stump. Ban 22-0 in 7 overs.

Gul bowls a maiden to Anamul. Ban 20-0 in 6 overs.

Anamul gets his first boundary dancing down the track and smashing Hafeez to midwicket. Ban 20-0 in 5 overs.

Kayes smashes Gul through point for another boundary. Ban 15-0 in 4 overs.

Kayes hits the first boundary of the match slashing Gul over cover. Ban 7-0 in 2 overs.

Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bat in Match 7 of the Asia Cup in Mirpur on Tuesday.

Shakib is back for Bangladesh who have made four other changes: Imrul Kayes, Mahmudullah, Shafiul Islam and Al-Amin Hossain.

Fawad Alam is in for the injured Sharjeel Khan while Abdur Rehman replaces Junaid Khan.

Pakistan meet hosts Bangladesh on Tuesday in Match 8 of the Asia Cup in Dhaka and need to win to meet Sri Lanka in Saturday's final.

Defending champions Pakistan have won two of their three matches, beating Afghanistan and India and going down to Sri Lanka.

The return of all-rounded Shakib Al Hassan from a three-ODI suspension will boost Bangladesh who suffered a 32-run defeat at the hands of newcomers Afghanistan.

Pakistan pacer Mohammad Talha is reportedly fit to play.

The last game between these sides was in the 2012 Asia Cup final, which Bangladesh lost by two runs.

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