Hello, the Sport360 Team is in place bringing you the latest news from the world of cricket on Thursday.
Bangladesh pulled off a major upset in the Asia Cup yesterday, defeating Pakistan by 37 runs thanks to Mushfiqur Rahim and Mustafizur Rahman to reach the Friday’s final where they will take on India.
We will be bringing you all the build up to that match as well as all the other news from the world of cricket
As ever, get in touch with us throughout the day on Facebook.
11.35am: Asia Cup final: Why India should bat first against Bangladesh if they win the toss
India have won three matches comprehensively in the Asia Cup after bowling first, but for the final, where they face Bangladesh on Friday in Dubai, India should look to bat first.
Ajit Vijaykumar explains why HERE
10.22am: Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan have shown great match fitness throughout the tournament
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have been brilliant in the Asia Cup so far. The two have been instrumental in helping India remaining unbeaten in the Asia Cup.
Sharma and Dhawan have amassed 269 and 327 runs respectively from four matches and have looked in sublime touch.
But what has also really impressed most is the fitness the two have shown. To read why click HERE.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza lauded his team’s fielding after they beat Pakistan by 37 runs to set up a Asia Cup final clash with India.
The Tigers defended 238, restricting Pakistan to 202-9 in their 50 overs in the crucial Super Four clash at Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Wednesday.
The fact they reached that total was largely down to the 144-run fourth-wicket stand between Mushfiqur Rahim (99) and Mohammad Mithun (60) after they were 12-3 in the first four overs.
Pakistan suffered the same fate when Mustafizur Rahman took two quick wickets to dismiss Sarfraz Ahmed (10) and Babar Azam (1) to leave Pakistan reeling at 18-3.
Mortaza and the rest of his team-mates were clinical on the field with the captain himself producing a superb catch to remove in-form all-rounder Shoaib Malik (30).
Mortaza hopes to carry the momentum into the final against India, their third in four years.
“We can be proud of our fielding today. We haven’t seen this quality of fielding for a long time, so hopefully the boys can understand the value of good fielding. We still need to improve a bit of our batting and bowling,” he said.
“We changed our combination a bit. Usually I open the bowling, but today we started with Miraz. The bowlers did a good job, especially when we didn’t get the runs. But Rahim and Mithun batted really well,” he added.
“I was lucky that I didn’t drop my catch, because Shoaib Malik was in such good form, but overall the fielding was really good.
Rahim was named man of the match following his outstanding efforts with the bat and the 31-year-old admitted it was crucial that he survived his first 10 overs.
“With the new ball and with the quality Pakistan bowling had, we knew we might lose early wickets. It’s very important that I believed in myself and I spoke to Mithun that we need to build a partnership which was very crucial at that stage,” he said.
“The wicket was pretty good and we wanted to make sure we dig in through the first 10 overs. The credit goes to the way I practice and the preparation I do gives me a lot of self belief. Whenever you are positive you take the right decisions more often and it helps a lot in my batting. Making the right decisions help me stay calm and my posture at the crease.”
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed counted himself as one of the players who failed to step up.
“We are obviously not feeling good. As a team we have not done well. Our performance has been very poor,” he said. “As a player, I have done really badly too. I should have done better. We were poor in every facet of the game.
“There were lot of batting collapses for us in the tournament. Fakhar is our main batsman, he failed to perform in this tournament and Shadab was hit by injury too. We have to play well to beat good teams. Our batting was the main reason for our defeat in this tournament.”
After winning the toss on another humid day in Abu Dhabi, Mashrafe Mortaza decided to bat first at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. His decision seemed to backfire after pacers Shaheen Afridi and Junaid Khan left Bangladesh reeling at 12-3.
But it was the fourth-wicket 144-run stand between Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Mithun that proved pivotal as Bangladesh were all out for 239. Rahim became the first Bangladeshi to fall for 99 while Mithun hit 60.
Junaid, who replaced out-of-form Mohammad Amir, justified his selection and finished the game with figures of 4-19.
In their chase, Pakistan were reeling 18-3 after three overs. Imam-Ul-Haq scored 83 but left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman landed critical blows to finish with 4-43 as Pakistan were restricted to 202-9.
RAHIM’S HEROIC BATTING
The 31-year-old was unfortunate not to reach triple figures for the second time in the tournament after he fell for 99. Just like against Sri Lanka in the opening victory, Bangladesh were in trouble but Rahim used all his experience to once again rescue them. During his 116-ball innings, Rahim hit nine fours and rotated the strike with singles and twos to keep the scoreboard ticking.
SHAHEEN AFRIDI’S RISE
Junaid’s display will be one of the positives that Pakistan can take. But they will also be encouraged by the way Shaheen Afridi, who made his ODI debut against Afghanistan last Friday, has developed. At 18, there’s still a long way to go before he’s the finished article but his figures of 2-47, including the prized wicket of Rahim, should fill the team management with hopes of a bright future.
BANGLADESH’S TOP THREE FAIL AGAIN
For the fourth consecutive match in the competition, Bangladesh’s top-order struggled to get off to a strong start. Soumya Sarkar replaced young opener Nazmul Hossain. But he, Liton Das and Mominul Haque fell to pace inside the first four overs. If it wasn’t for the 144-run fourth-wicket stand between Rahim and Mithun, the 2012 and 2016 runners-up would have been on the wrong side of the result.
SARFRAZ’S POOR FIELDING AND BOWLING DECISIONS
After their dream start, it seemed it was only a matter of time before more wickets would fall. However, Sarfraz turned to the spin trio of Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Nawaz for 13 consecutive overs with neither proving successful. To make matters worse, Sarfraz did not have a slip even though Hasan Ali had induced an edge.
Sarfraz has allowed the game to drift...rated him highly as a skipper post the Champions Trophy success. He’s looked a patch of that in this #AsiaCup— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) September 26, 2018
2.5 – WICKET: Junaid makes an instant impact with his short ball deceiving Soumya Sarkar for a duck.
4.2 – WICKET: Tigers’ batting frailties show again, losing their third wicket with Junaid rattling Das’ stumps. Bangladesh struggling at 12-3.
25.4 – CENTURY STAND: Rahim takes two runs for a vital 100-run stand with Mithun.
32.2 –150-RUN STAND: Rahim and Mithun go from strength to strength – bringing up the 150-run partnership.
41.4 – WICKET: Rahim falls one run short of his century, edging Afridi to Sarfraz Ahmed.
3.3 – WICKET: The Men in Green are in big trouble at 18-3 with Sarfraz becoming Rahman’s second scalp of the day.
20.1 – WICKET: A big one for Bangladesh with Malik chipping to midwicket as Mortaza pulls off a stunning diving catch.
33.1 – CHANCE: Asif Ali survives and has stand-in wicket-keeper Das to thank after his edge bounces off the keeper’s gloves.
40.5 – WICKET: Imam comes down the track but is deceived by a seam-up ball from Mahmudullah and is stumped.
KEY TURNING POINT
BANGLADESH’S START WITH THE BALL
Having endured a poor start themselves, Bangladesh gave Pakistan a taste of their own medicine as Rahman and Mehidy Hasan dismissed Fakar Zaman, Babar Azam and Sarfraz Ahmed in the first three overs. It was the worst possible start for Pakistan, whose batsman haven’t been firing in the UAE and ultimately those wickets put Bangladesh in the driving seat.
BANGLADESH – A
There are still concerns over the form of their top-order batsmen that need to be addressed going into Friday’s final but their bowlers raised their game when it mattered. They never let Pakistan take control of the game after their dominant start and took their chances in the field.
PAKISTAN – D
A performance that summed up their whole tournament. Apart from Imam, none of the batsmen took responsibility. Their poor start with the bat added to the pressure and their flaws were exposed once the Tigers applied enough pressure. Plenty of areas that needs examining with the World Cup eight months away.