Tigers go down despite stellar effort of Shakib, Mustafizur

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Sports desk, July 05: Despite a stellar effort from Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman, Bangladesh tasted a 94-run defeat to Pakistan to end their already successful World Cup in substandard fashion at Lord’s, the cricket’s hallowed ground on Friday.Shakib Al Hasan hit his seventh fifty-plus knock in eight games while Mustafizur Rahman, put up yet another destructive death over bowling show to claim back-to-back five-for but ordinary performance from the other players made it futile.

Pakistan’s 19-year old fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi snared 6-35, to produce a best World Cup bowling figure for a Pakistan bowler to wrap up Bangladesh for 221 in 44.1 overs before opener Imam-ul-Haque batting struck exact 100 to help the side put up 315-9.

Pakistan ended with 11 points, same as New Zealand but the latter confirmed semifinal spot by virtue of better run rate. Pakistan however needed to bowl Bangladesh out for just 7, an improbable task to outshine the Kiwis by net-run-rate. Shaheen’s six-for, his career-best bowling also was complemented by Shahdab Khan’s 2-59. Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz took one wicket apiece.

The teen-ager Shaheen’s devastating bowling made sure that no Bangladeshi batsman, apart from Shakib Al Hasan could stand tall. Shakib struck 64 off 77 with six fours, to end the World Cup with staggering 606 runs and in doing so he reclaimed the top run getter spot in this tournament from Rohit Sharma for the time being.

Liton Das was the other notable scorer with 32 while Mahmudullah Riyad made 39.

Amir gave the initial breakthrough, dismissing Soumya Sarkar for run-a-ball 22 after which Shaheen appeared in the stage.

He undid Tamim by a slower to force him end a yet another flop World Cup after scoring 8 runs in this match for his total of 235.

Wahab Riaz removed Mushfiqur (16) before his partnership with Shakib produced any threat.

Liton Das looked comfortable until Shaheen produced a beauty to get rid him of.

Amid the wickets tumbling Shakib reached his 47th ODI fifty but Shaheen returned again to beat him with extra pace.

Shakib’s dismissal virtually brought the end of the game even though Mahmudullah resisted to some extent.

But Shaheen continued taking wickets, leaving Bangladesh at dire strait.

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, playing his last World Cup match, entertained the crowd with two big sixes, one against Shaheen.

For Bangladesh, Mustafizur Rahman took 5-75, following his 5-59 against India. But all of his wickets came in the last 10 overs, after the damages were done.

He ended up with 20 wickets, a new Bangladesh record, to put him in second place for top wicket-taker list for the time being in this World Cup, but he never got any wicket in the first 30 overs.

Mustafizur’s fifth career five-for, was complemented by Mohammad Saifuddin’s 3-77.

Opener Imam-ul-Haque was instrumental in Pakistan’s respectable total, hitting a run-a-balll-100, which is his first World Cup century. Babar Azam struck 98 ball-96 with 11 delightful boundaries.

Mohammad Hafeez chipped-in-with 27 while Imad Wasim made a whirlwind 26 ball-43 to help the side propel past 300.

Despite winning the toss and batting first, Pakistan’s intention looked not to give any shot to the semifinal even though they knew that they need to win the game by 300 plus margin at least.

Rather they made a slow start with opener Fakhar Zaman being out of 13 after playing 31 balls.

Imam and Babar steadied the innings but never looked in urgency to bat with higher gear.

They added 157 off 148 balls to lay a platform for the side to take the score past 300.

Saifuddin broke the partnership, having deprived Babar Azam century for four runs.

Imam however raced to his century off 99 balls, hitting seven boundaries but was out to next delivery of Mustafizur, who then took out Haris Sohail for his 100th wicket in just 54 matches.

Saifuddin and Mehidy Hasan Miraz joined Mustafizur in the carnage, forcing Pakistan loss three wickets for seven runs in two overs.

A good death bowling effort by Mustafizur and Saifuddin then forced Pakistan losing wickets at regular intervals.

Amid the wickets tumbling, Imad Wasim kept hitting all the things come to him and propelled Pakistan past 300 runs.