LAHORE – Haris Rauf led Pakistan’s pace trio with four wickets to beat Bangladesh by seven wickets in the Super Four stage of the Asian Cup in Lahore on Wednesday.
Rauf went 4-19 while teammate Naseem Shah finished 3-34 to pool Bangladesh on 193 runs in 38.4 overs to set up an easy win.
Opener Imam-ul-Haq scored a brilliant 78 and Mohammad Rizwan an unbeaten 63 to help Pakistan chase down the target by three wickets in 39.3 overs.
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The victory gives Pakistan an ideal start ahead of their highly charged match against India in Colombo on Sunday after the first game between the arch-rivals was called off due to rain last week.
Haq built up the innings after fellow opener Fakhar Zaman (20) and captain Babar Azam (17) went down early, hitting four sixes and five caps in their 84-ball innings.
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Haq, who now has 19 ODI half centuries, added 85 for the third wicket with Rizwan before Mehidy Hasan Miraz bowled him with just 35 needed for victory.
Rizwan, who reached seven limits and six from 79 balls in his mid-19th century, and Agha Salman 12, who didn’t come out, deflected off target with 63 balls remaining.
Earlier, the Pakistani duo of Rauf and Naseem derailed Bangladesh, who won the toss and batted on a flat pitch at Gaddafi Stadium.
The senior duo of Mushfiqur Rahim scored 64 on their 46th half-century while captain Shakib Al Hasan, who scored 53, anchored the innings, but once his 100 stand was broken for the fifth wicket, Bangladesh’s innings faltered.
Shakib fell while hooking fast-medium bowler Faheem Ashraf on the 30th, caught at the boundary. His dismissal caused the collapse of six wickets for 46 runs on 58 balls.
Shakib hit seven limits in his 53-ball innings, while Rahim broke five limits in his 87-ball strike.
The pair had lifted Bangladesh from a precarious 47-4, with Rauf being the main destroyer at the start of the innings with the wickets of Mohammad Naim (20) and Towhid Hridoy (two).
Naseem had started the slide with Miraz’s wicket to no avail.
Rauf returned for his second spell and put an end to Rahim’s brilliant striking by catching the senior batsman behind at 38 and then caught Taskin Ahmed in the same way for nothing.
Naseem concluded the inning by dismissing Afif Hossain (12) and Shoriful Islam (one), ending the inning.
Defending champions Sri Lanka will take on Bangladesh in Colombo on Saturday.