Pakistan return to winning ways with stylish victory in Kolkata


Pakistan cruised to a comfortable seven-wicket win in a game that finished in the 33rd over of their innings. Fakhar Zaman (81) and Abdullah Shafique (68) starred for them with authoritative fifties against Bangladesh.

Complete performance gives Pakistan comfortable win | Match Highlights | CWC23

Pakistan bowled out Bangladesh for 204 before chasing down the target in the 33rd over.

In the first innings, Shaheen Afridi (3/23), Mohammad Wasim (3/31), and Haris Rauf (2/36) were the pick of Pakistan bowlers, as the pacers rallied together for the Men in Green to bowl Bangladesh all out for a modest total. For Bangladesh, Mahmudullah (56) and Shakib Al Hasan (43) showed a fight with the bat.

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Fakhar Zaman showed relentless form in the first Powerplay. The southpaw smacked four boundaries for Pakistan in this period. This included two exemplary sixes off the bowling of Taskin Ahmed and Mehidy Hasan Miraz, respectively.

Fakhar Zaman's match-winning 81 in Kolkata | POTM Highlights | CWC23

POTM Highlights of the 81 from 74 by Fakhar Zaman, which included seven towering sixes.

He got good support from his partner, Abdullah Shafique, who hit four stylish fours of his own in the first 10 overs.

Shafique slams sublime half-century in Kolkata | CWC23

Highlights of Abdullah Shafique, who played a fine hand in Pakistan's third ICC Men's Cricket World Cup win.

Zaman and Shafique continued to make the most of a decent batting wicket and a good outfield. They churned out a series of fours and sixes as the Bangladesh shoulders dropped. Five sixes were added in the overs 11-20, as the duo added 72 runs.

Up, up and away... Pakistan openers go all the way in Kolkata | CWC23

Seven sixes were hit in the first 20 overs of the Pakistan innings.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz finally brought a breakthrough for Pakistan in the 22nd over, when he trapped Abdullah Shafique leg before for 68. However, Fakhar and Babar Azam ensured that Pakistan were right on track.

Mehidy brings wicket against the run of play | CWC23

Mehidy Hasan Miraz picked the first wicket for Bangladesh

After the mid-innings mark, Mehidy struck twice to remove both Fakhar and Babar, but by then Pakistan were already well set to overtake the Bangladesh target.

Pakistan pacers soar in Kolkata to restrict Bangladesh to 204 | Innings Highlights | CWC23

Innings highlights of the Bangladesh batting effort, which saw the side recovering from a poor start courtesy fighting knocks from Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan, but failing to finish off well.

In the first innings, Pakistan were right on the mark courtesy an incisive spell from Shaheen Afridi. He pinned Tanzid Hasan leg before off the fifth ball of the game. The batter reviewed, but it turned out that the ball was clipping the top of his leg stump.

Mahmudullah's patient fifty guides Bangladesh | CWC23

Player Highlights of Mahmudullah's fighting half-century at Eden Gardens, which included six fours and a six.

In the very next over, Shaheen had the out-of-form Najmul Hossain Shanto caught at forward square leg. Usama Mir took a sharp catch at the position to give Pakistan their second breakthrough.

Shaheen makes the new ball talk in Kolkata | CWC23

Shaheen Afridi picked up two wickets in his first twelve balls. Tanzid Hasan's dismissal in the first over was his 100th ODI wicket.

Litton Das tried to pick up the pace for Bangladesh with a flurry of boundaries against Haris Rauf. However, it was the pacer who had the last laugh, when he got the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim to nick one behind the wicket.

Mushfiqur Rahim - Wicket - Pakistan vs Bangladesh

Mushfiqur was replaced by the in-form veteran Mahmudullah, who ensured that the Tigers didn't get too bogged down by the early damages.

Bangladesh keep positive despite early losses | CWC23

Bangladesh hit five fours in the first Powerplay

After the first Powerplay, Das and Mahmudullah took charge and hit a stream of boundaries. Their intent was backed by some erratic Pakistan bowling. The duo went at almost six an over between overs 11-20.

Das, Mahmudullah pick pace | CWC23

Bangladesh went at about six an over in the overs 11-20.

Against the run of play, Das gifted his wicket to Iftikhar Ahmed after he chipped one of his deliveries to the mid-wicket fielder.

Litton Das - Wicket - Pakistan vs Bangladesh

Bangladesh batted conservatively over the next few overs, as Shakib Al Hasan tried to get in. Just when the batters looked like they were getting set, Mahmudullah (56) was cleaned up by a beauty from Shaheen.

Shaheen stuns set Mahmudullah with a ripper | CWC23

Mahmudullah was cleaned up for 56

Newcomer Tawhid Hridoy went gung-ho quite early in his innings, hitting a six off his second ball. However, this daredevilry cost him his wicket off the very next ball, as he nicked Usama Mir to the first slip.

Glory and doom... Tawhid goes big and then goes out | CWC23

Tawhid Hridoy hit a six off his very second ball and then gifted a catch to the slip.

Bangladesh finally picked up once more, when Shakib hit a hat-trick of boundaries in the 37th over against Iftikhar Ahmed.

Shakib hits form with a hat-trick of fours | CWC23

Shakib Al Hasan showed glimpses of his old form with a set of exquisite boundaries against Iftikhar Ahmed.

However, any hopes of a Bangladesh resurgence ended when Shakib mistimed a pull off Haris Rauf and fell for 43. Bangladesh managed to cross the 200-run mark at the back of a stand between Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Taskin Ahmed, but strikes from Mohammad Wasim soon ended their time at the crease.

Wasim rattles stumps in the 44th over | CWC23

Mohammad Wasim was right on the mark.

Shakib Al Hasan opted to bat first after winning the toss. He believed that the pitch was dry, just the way it was in their last encounter against the Netherlands, and would offer turn. They made one change to the side that fell short against the Dutch – Mahedi Hasan was replaced by Tawhid Hridoy.

Pakistan, on the other hand, went in with three changes. Fakhar Zaman, Salman Agha and Usama Mir were in for Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan.

Bright starts for Pakistan and Bangladesh have all but faded away as both sides barely remain in contention for the knockout stage of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.

Pakistan opened their campaign with convincing victories over Netherlands and Sri Lanka but are now on a four-match losing streak that has left little margin for error in the race for a semi-final berth.

A fifth loss on the trot for the 1992 champions when they face Bangladesh would essentially end their hopes of progressing further even with two matches still to play, though a win here would boost Pakistan's hopes of a late surge through the tournament.

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Bangladesh are in an even more precarious position as they sit just above the last spot in the standings with only two points from a win over Afghanistan in their tournament opener.

While form might be lacking after five consecutive defeats, Shakib Al Hasan's outfit can turn to Bangladesh's first-ever ODI victory over Pakistan for inspiration, when they won their clash at the Cricket World Cup in 1999 by 62 runs.

That was one of only five victories that Bangladesh have secured in 38 ODIs against Pakistan who have all but dominated their encounters.

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The most recent match-up in the format came in the Super Four stage of the recent Asia Cup when Pakistan strengthened their hold on the head-to-head record with a seven-wicket win.

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**Pakistan:**Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Agha, Shaheen Afridi, Usama Mir, Mohammad Wasim, Haris Rauf.

**Bangladesh:**Litton Das (wk), Tanzid Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Shakib Al Hasan (c), Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Tawhid Hridoy, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam.

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