A win that felt like a loss, a game that gave a bittersweet taste to Pakistani fans
On Friday morning at the historic ground of Lord’s two Asians teams, Pakistan and Bangladesh went head to head to fight for the 5th position in ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Pakistan had a bleak chance of getting into the top 4, but for that miracle to happen they need to win by a huge margin of somewhat above 300 depending upon the target they post for their counterpart. On the other hand, Bangladesh was keen to capitalize on this opportunity and grab the 5th spot after a wonderful campaign they had in the tournament.
Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first hoping against the hope of qualifying for the semi-final spot. Fakhar Zaman and Imam ul Haq walked in with Pakistani fans hoping for a start filled with fireworks but the green track of Lord’s didn’t allow Pakistani openers to free their arms. Fakhar led another disappointing inning after scoring just 13 runs. Babar Azam walked out next and the duo continued for their side rotating the strike and punishing poor deliveries for boundaries. Both completed their half centuries and for the 2nd wicket added valuable 177 runs until Babar Azam was dismissed just 4 runs short of his century on 96. Hafeez and Imam put up a good partnership of 66 runs as Imam completed his century but stepped onto his stumps right after. In the very next over Hafeez was caught near the boundary line. Harris Sohail also failed and was cleaned up by Mustafiz before he could do much damage. Imad Wasim then seized the helm of Pakistani ship and provided the much-required power hitting as Pakistan kept losing wickets from the other end. Imad was caught at third man position scoring 43 runs in 26 deliveries as Pakistan posted a score of 315 for 9. Mustafiz ur Rehman was sensational for Bangladesh claiming 5 Pakistani batsmen.
In reply, Bangladesh had an edgy start with Pakistani bowlers dominating. Soumya Sarkar was the first casualty for the batting side who was caught at point. Next one was Tamim Iqbal who was clean bowled by Shaheen Shah Afridi for 8. Shakib al Hassan and Mushfiq ur Rahim joined hands to give Bangladesh a fair chance in the chase but an in swinging delivery removed Mushfiq for a modest 16. Liton Das then accompanied Shakib and showed resistance against Pakistani bowling but after a decent partnership, Liton Das was dismissed by Shaheen. Shakib after completing his century was caught behind on 64 as Bangladesh started struggling for 154-5. Mahmudullah and Mossadek strived hard for their side but Pakistani bowlers got better of them before they can turn things around and Pakistan wrapped up Bangladesh for 221.
Man of the Match award went to the teenager Shaheen Shah Afrid for his wonderful bowling effort picking up 6 wickets for 35. Pakistan with this victory concluded their World Cup at 5th spot while Bangladesh had to settle for the 7th position.