A probable last hurrah saw Pakistan and Bangladesh face each other at Lord’s. The MCC had released the news that due to poor take up of tickets by members they were inviting 250 children to sit in the rarified atmosphere of the pavilion. Hopefully the teams would give them a day to remember. Two of the most passionate sets of fans in the tournament would certainly do that.
Sarfaraz won the toss and elected to bat, it was the only choice he could make, a massive shift in run rate could just bring about a miracle for Pakistan. But Bangladesh are no slouches, in all facets of the game, and they have Shakib Al Hasan, the best all rounder in the world in their ranks.
My seat was in the Mound Stand which meant no permanent scoreboard, annoying in the extreme ICC, I had to keep referring to my phone to check details! Pakistan were restricted to 22 in the first 6 overs. Both openers considered running each other out in the opening salvo, nervy times.
There was no run out but Fakhar swiped at a ball from Shaifuddin, he was caught by Mehidi Hasan, Out for 13, a disappointing tournament overall, he scored only 186 in his 8 innings. Pakistan were 23 for 1. Babar joined Imam.
10 overs saw Pakistan on 38 for 1, they reached their 50 in the 13th over. Babar and Imam were going for every run they could get, with some tight singles included. The pair were taking the two’s Pakistan hadn’t throughout the tournament.
Pakistan were 82 for 1 after 17 overs. The atmosphere was lively to say the least, this wasn’t a dead rubber for either set of fans. Although the Afghanistan match was the one Pakistan match I missed I saw some of the unfortunate scenes at Headingley, things couldn’t have been more different at Lord’s. As the good natured crowd alternated with Bangladesh/Pakistan all day, it was great fun!
Pakistan’s 100 came up in the 22nd over, 500 was looking highly unlikely! Babar’s 50 came up from 62 balls. Imam’s 50 from 52 balls in the 27th over and Pakistan moved to 136 for 1.
After 31 overs Pakistan were 166 for 1, Babar 87 from 94 and Imam 59 from 61. Both men looked to be heading to their century when Babar was trapped LBW by Shaifuddin just 4 runs short of his. Overall Babar scored 474 runs in his 8 innings a great return for this stylish young batsman. Joy ensued for the Bangladesh fans, Pakistan were 180 for 2 after 32 overs.
Hafeez joined Imam and Pakistan moved to 216 for 2 after 38 overs. Bangladesh captain Mashrafe bowled what were likely to be his last overs for his country. His international career started in 2001 and he’s still going strong after many operations on his knee, he pulls his knee support up before every ball and can be seen noticeably limping at times. A brave man.
Imam reached his century in 99 balls, hopefully that will silence his critics for a while. However he then did a Malik in a way, he stepped back into his stumps. Out, hit wicket, what a way to go! A century he’ll never forget, a dismissal he’ll never forget! Imam scored 305 runs in his 8 innings
Pakistan were 246 for 4 in the 42nd over. Hafeez didn’t last long after Imam was out, he hit an easy catch to Shakib from the bowling of Mehidy, out for 27 and Pakistan were 248 for 3. Hafeez scored 253 runs in his 8 innings.
Mehidy only conceded 30 runs from his 10 overs, a good return with the wicket added in too!
Mustafizur was up next with the ball next, Haris Sohail was caught by Soumya for 6 and Pakistan were having a collapse on 255 for 4. 198 runs for Haris in 5 innings, a player who should’ve been included earlier by Pakistan.
That saw Imad and Sarfaraz at the wicket, Imad hit a ball really hard back down the wicket, it hit Sarfaraz on the arm, he ran then fell to the ground and looked to be in complete agony. Pakistan’s only wicket keeper was in a lot of trouble. The magic spray came out, but the pain didn’t seem to lessen, but the helmet went back on and Sarfaraz continued. However Sarfaraz had to retire hurt having made 2 from 2 balls. Wahab replaced him, a man with a fractured hand/finger.
Imad hit a few runs, including a Six to the delight of the Pakistan fans in the crowd, Wahab was clean bowled by Shaifuddin for 2 and Pakistan were 288 for 6 after 46.5 overs. Make that 289 for 7 as Shadab was caught and bowled for 1, an àmazing piece of work by Mustafizur, one of the plays of the World Cup!
Imad brought Pakistan’s 300 up with a Four and followed it with another. He’s been a revelation with the bat in this World Cup. He scored a creditable 43 from 26 balls but went for one big shot too many and was caught by Mahmudullah from the bowling of Mustafizur. Another late comer for Pakistan Imad scored 162 in 5 innings.
Pakistan were 314 for 8 with 3 balls remaining, make that in effect all out with one ball remaining as Amir swiped at a high ball, he was caught by Mushfiqur, another wicket for Mustafizur. Strike that, Sarafaz came back to face the final ball, from which he took a single denying Mustafizur his hat-trick. Pakistan gave Bangladesh a target of 316.
Amir had a severe case of Deja vu as a Pakistan bowler, in his first over Haris dropped a catch he really should’ve taken after a big edge from Tamim. Hafeez who’d opened at the other end bowled a horror full toss, rightly despatched for 4.
The young opener Soumya had no such luck with the fielding, he was caught by Fakhar from the bowling of Amir for 3. Bangladesh were 27 for 1 after 5 overs.
In bowling terms the young Shaheen Afridi has been the revelation of the World Cup for Pakistan. He took a key wicket, bowling Tamim for just 8. More of him later!
Bangladesh were 49 for 2 after 11 overs. With the diminutive Mushfiqur and Shakib at the crease looking comfortable, Wahab clean bowled Mushfiqur for 16 and Bangladesh were 78 for 3. The tiny wicket keeper scored 367 in his 8 innings.
Bangladesh reached their 100 in the 23rd over, Liton Das with 15 from 22 and Shakib with 41 from 53. Shakib’s 50 came up from 62 balls and Bangladesh went to 121 for 3.
Liton Das having batted well sent up a sitter for Sohail from the bowling of Shaheen, he was out for 32 and Bangladesh were 136 for 4 in the 29th over. Their 150 came up in the 31st over. Liton Das played only 5 innings and scored 184 runs.
It was Shaheen who broke the partnership again, Mahmudullah had joined Shakib, he took the big wicket or Shakib, he was out for 64. He was caught by Sarfaraz and Bangladesh were 155 for 5. Shakib has had a brilliant World Cup, he sits at the top of the runs table with 606 runs from 8 innings, he also took 11 wickets for 399 runs.
Things went a bit flat as it became clear Bangladesh weren’t going to chase the total set. Shadab came on and took the wicket of Mossadek for 16, a catch out on the boundary he was out for 16 and Bangladesh were 197 for 6 after 39.4 overs.
A bowling change brought a wicket again, a 4th for Shaheen, Shaifuddin was caught by Amir for a Duck, Shaheen got his 5fer in the same over! 5 for 25 in 7.3 overs he bowled Hashmatullah for 29. Bangladesh were 198 for 8
The young bowler was brought down to earth in his 8th over, Mashrafe hit him for a huge straight Six. Bangladesh moved to 214 for 8 with 8 overs remaining.
Mashrafe was in swinging mode and he went big for a Shadab ball, to be stumped by Sarfaraz, he’d made 25 and Bangladesh were 219 for 9 with 7 overs remaining. Shaheen had the last word in Pakistan’s World Cup, he clean bowled Mustafizur for 1 and Bangladesh were all out for 221 giving Pakistan a win by 94 runs. Shaheen Afridi finished the match with 6 for 35 form 9.1 over and the tournament with 16 wickets in 5 matches. Only Amir who played all 8 games had a better return with 17.
That’s the World Cup over for both of these teams, both have done their countries proud. More of my tournament watching Pakistan on a separate article. The Stand Army have made the whole thing so incredibly enjoyable! As an added bonus at this one I had the company of Nitin an India fan over for a few matches, a true cricket lover it was great to have his company at Lord’s