Kolkata, Oct 31: Electing to bat first, Bangladesh were 200/8 in 43.1 overs against their familiar Asian opponents and neighbours Pakistan in the 31st match of the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 at the Eden Gardens, here on Tuesday.
Pakistan pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi was on fire in his first spell as he removed Tanzid Hasan and Najmul Hossain Shanto in quick succession.
Hasan was LBW for a duck and Shanto could manage just 4, before being caught by Usama Mir at forward square leg.
Shanto offered a low bat and pad chance, but Mir did well to grab that opportunity diving forward. Bangladesh were suddenly struggling at 6/2 in 2.4 overs.
Right arm fast Haris Rauf with his pace once again got back his ability to strike in his first over. He removed Bangladesh's most experienced batter in the line-up Mushfiqur Rahim.
The seasoned Bangladesh keeper Rahim, edged a 144.7 kph delivery by Rauf only to be caught behind the stumps by his Pakistani counterpart Mohd Rizwan, who does not miss many. As Rahim (5) walked back, Bangladesh were reduced to 23/3 in 6 overs.
Opener Litton Das and middle-order batting mainstay Mahmudullah then took up the repair job and tried to build a partnership.
But Litton needlessly ballooned an innocuous ball of Iftikhar Ahmed to midwicket. He was in utter disbelief when he had to go back to the pavilion as Agha Salman completed the catch.
Seasoned Mahmudullah batted with sense, maturity and controlled aggression. But after making 56 in 70 balls, he fell to read an incoming delivery of Afridi and was dismissed LBW. He hit six 4s and one 6, in his valiant rescue act.
The left-arm pacer on his return spell once again gave Pakistan the wicket they needed most. It was Afridi's third scalp of the day.
Towhid Hridoy (7) began well, but lasted only 3 balls. During his stay in the middle, Towhid lifted Usama Mir for a fine six. But he nipped the very next ball to first slip, where Iftikhar Ahmed completed a regulation catch and Mir had the final laugh.
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan demoting himself down the order and sending Mahmudullah ahed aof him, did help the team up to some extent. Also, his lacklustre batting form in the World Cup though was bettered on Tuesday, but he finally fell to Rauf's return spell.
Shakib's long association with Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL did help him put up some fight at the Eden Gardens as he scored 43 in 64 balls, with four hits to the fence.
But he top edged Rauf's express delivery to mid-wicket as Agha Salman had a nice catching practice. With the skipper's dismissal, Bangladesh were reduced to 185/7 in 39.3 overs.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz's 30-ball 25 run knock came to an end with Mohd Wasim uprooting his off stump.
Both sides had a few changes in their playing XI for the Eden encounter. Pakistan has two wins and Bangladesh one, in the six matches they have played so far in the tournament.
Tanzid Hasan, Litton Das , Najmul Hossain Shanto, Shakib Al Hasan (Captain), Mushfiqur Rahim (wicket-keeper), Mahmudullah, Towhid Hridoy, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman and Shoriful Islam.
Pakistan XI: Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (Captain), Mohammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Agha Salman, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usama Mir, Mohammad Wasim and Haris Rauf.