Pakistan crush Bangladesh by 10 wickets

July 4th, 2008 - 11:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, July 4 (IANS) Pakistan made short work of Bangladesh in their final Asia Cup Super Four game, thrashing the visitors by 10 wickets at the National Stadium here Friday. Sparkling fifties by openers Salman Butt and Nasir Jamshed saw the hosts reach the 115-run target set by Bangladesh in just 19.4 overs.

It was a consolation victory for Pakistan as they have knocked out of the race for the Asia Cup final, which will be contested by defending champions Sri Lanka and India Sunday.

Butt and Nasir hammered the Bangladeshi bowlers to all corners of the stadium. Butt scored 56 off 62 balls and hit nine boundaries. The young Nasir was in a more aggressive mode, hitting five fours and two sixes in his 56-ball stay at the crease.

Earlier, making good use of a strong breeze and a constant cloud cover, pacers Abdul Rauf and Rao Iftikhar Anjum ripped through the Bangladesh batting line.

Rauf - with a career-best 3-24 - and Rao (2-20) toyed with the Bangladeshi batting and later off-spinner Saeed Ajmal (2-19) cleaned up the tail. The Bangladeshi innings was over in 38.2 overs in the dead rubber.

Rauf, whose previous best of 3-45 came in his debut match against Zimbabwe in Sheikhupura this January, scalped opener Nazimuddin (3), captain Mohammad Ashraful (14) and Tamim Iqbal (26) in his seven-over spell during which he troubled the batsmen by extracting a lot of bounce.

Ashraful won the toss and elected to bat but his side was in trouble right from the word go.

Rauf removed opener Nazimuddin in the third over to bring them under pressure. Tamim Iqbal (26) and Ashraful then tried to build a partnership but three wickets in quick succession brought them down to 49-4 in the 12th over.

The Bangladeshis could never recover and lost their last nine wickets for a mere 67 runs.

It was the best display from the Pakistani bowlers in the six-nation contest but it came a bit too late.

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