Pakistan humble lacklustre Bangladesh

June 9th, 2008 - 12:52 am ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, June 8 (IANS) Pakistan warmed up for bigger battles against India with a clinical 70-run routing of a lacklustre Bangladesh in the tri-nation one-day international (ODI) series opener here Sunday. Pakistan were all out for 233 in 39.3 overs after the match was reduced to 40-overs-a-side due to rain. Salman Butt scored a strokeful 70 of 84 balls while Mohammad Yousuf (59) and Misbah-ul Haq (39) chipped in with useful contributions.

Bangladesh were never really on the hunt and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. They were restricted to 163 for eight with Shahid Afridi (3-19) and Wahab riaz (3-22) doing the maximum damage.

Hosts skipper Mohammad Ashraful scored an unbeaten 56 that came in 93 balls. He struggled to get the scoreboard moving and his slow run rate proved costly for Bangladesh. It was an uninspiring performance by the hosts who looked totally out of sorts.

The hosts could never pace the innings and lost too many wickets in the middle overs. Bangladesh made a slow and cautious start putting on 35 runs in 8 overs before Shahriar Nafees (9) was caught behind off Riaz.

Ashraful joined Tamim Iqbal (29) but they failed to put on a good stand. Afridi who got good purchase from the track lured Tamim to drive a slow looping delivery and the batsman dragged himself out of the crease and was stumped.

Ashraful was happy to defend and nudge occassional singles, perhaps waiting for the right moment to launch which never came. Pressure kept mounting on Bangladesh batsmen with no boundaries coming their way. The asking rate kept moving up steeply.

Raqibul Hasan flashed one away from his body and was caught by Younis Khan in third slip. Afridi then cleaned up Alok Kapali with a quickish delivery and Bangladesh slumped to 67 for four in 19 overs.

Mushfiqur Rahim and Ashraful showed little urgency and scored just 31 runs in the next eight overs.

Earlier, Pakistan made a strong start as Butt and Kamran Akmal (25) put on 75 runs in the first 12 overs. The visitors then received a jolt as they lost two wickets in successive balls.

Akmal was out to debutant Dolar Mahmud as he slashed and an airborne Mushfiqur Rahim took a brilliant catch behind the stumps. Younis was run out for a duck.

Yousuf then joined Butt and the duo batted sensibly to add 65 runs. Butt scored his sixth successive 50-plus score and hit 10 boundaries. He was particularly severe on Shahadat Hossain.

Bangladesh spinners did a smart job by putting the brakes on Pakistani scoring. Abdur Razzak (3-35) and Kapali (3-49) provided the vital breakthroughs in the middle overs before Mashrafe Mortaza (2-36) removed the tail.

Afridi scored 20 before Kapali removed him and Yousuf off successive balls. The twin strikes dashed Pakistan’s hopes of a bigger total.

Razzak then shattered Shoaib Malik’s (9) defence and Mortaza trapped Misbah.

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