In a decisive encounter at Kolkata, Pakistan sealed their victory against Bangladesh, ending Bangladesh’s hopes of advancing to the World Cup 2023 semi-final.
The match resulted in a dominant 7-wicket win with a staggering 105 balls to spare, underlining Pakistan’s prowess in both batting and bowling departments.
Chasing a target of 205 for victory, the Pakistani openers, Fakhar Zaman and Abdullah Shafique, masterfully laid the foundation for their team’s triumph with an impressive partnership of 128 runs at the iconic Eden Gardens.
Fakhar Zaman, making a remarkable comeback, delivered a commanding performance, amassing 81 runs from 74 deliveries, while Shafique contributed a solid 68 off 69 balls.
The opening pair set the stage for the win, and their partnership was instrumental in Pakistan’s resounding success. Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed remained unbeaten, consolidating the victory with scores of 26 and 17, respectively.
Pakistan’s bowlers, led by Shaheen Shah Afridi, orchestrated the early dismantling of the Bangladeshi batting lineup. Afridi’s fiery pace rattled the Bangladeshi top order, and he reached a remarkable milestone by becoming the fastest Pakistani bowler to achieve 100 ODI wickets.
His impressive figures of 3 for 23 in 9 overs showcased his bowling prowess. Contributing to the demolition, Mohammad Wasim Jr. scalped three wickets, playing a pivotal role in dismissing Bangladesh for a below-par total of 204 in 45.1 overs.
Bangladesh’s batting effort was anchored by Mahmudullah, who played a responsible innings, accumulating 56 runs from 70 balls, including six boundaries and a six.
His partnership of 79 runs with Liton Das, who contributed 45 runs from 64 deliveries, temporarily resuscitated Bangladesh’s innings. Skipper Shakib Al Hasan added 43 runs in his 64-ball innings but was undone by a well-directed short ball from Haris Rauf.
The lower-order batsmen from Bangladesh, including Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, and Mustafizur Rahman, found it challenging to maintain the momentum as Pakistan’s bowlers, especially Wasim, continued to inflict damage. Bangladesh ultimately lost their last six wickets for 74 runs.
Bangladesh’s World Cup campaign has ended, and they now set their sights on securing a favorable position in the standings to qualify for the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan, with upcoming matches against Sri Lanka and Australia.
Meanwhile, Pakistan faces a challenging road ahead, taking on New Zealand and England in their final two fixtures. They are well aware that they need to secure victories in both matches and hope for favorable results from other encounters to secure a spot in the semi-finals.