Pakistan clinched the Asia Cup 2012 in a cliff-hanger against Bangladesh

Pakistan 236 – 9 (Sarfraz Ahmed unbeaten 46, Mohammad Hafeez 40, Abdur Razzak 2-26) beat Bangladesh 234 – 8 (Shakib Al Hasan 68, Tamim Iqbal 60, Aizaz Cheema 3-46) by two runs.

Shahid Afridi - 'Player of the match' in the Asia Cup 2012
Shahid Afridi – 'Player of the match' in the Asia Cup 2012

Pakistan won the Asia Cup 2012 in an epic nail biter by defeating Bangladesh with a narrow margin of just two runs.

Pakistan scored 236 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in the allotted 50 overs and Bangladesh managed 234 runs after losing 8 wickets.

Shahid Afridi was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his timely knock of 32 off 22 balls and one wicket for 28 runs in 10 overs.

The final of the Asia Cup 2012 was played at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur on March 22, 2012.

Earlier, Mushfiqur Rahim won the toss and offered the batting to Pakistan as the hosts found it convenient to chase during the tournament.

The decision paid off as the Green Shirts lost two early wickets for just 19 runs in 5.2 overs. Their Captain, Misbah-Ul-Haq added to their miseries by running himself out with the addition of 36 runs in the total and they were reeling at 55 for three wickets. The youngster, Umar Akmal came in next and tried to consolidate the innings with Hafeez who was gone for 40 after the addition of 15 runs in the total.

The young all rounder, Hammad Azam entered in to face the music as the Bengal Tigers bowlers became near unplayable. The boundaries were hard to earn and most of the scoring was achieved by running alone as the visitors crept to the first hundred of the innings in the 29th over. The duo contributed 59 runs for the fifth wicket when Hammad was caught and bowled by Shakib Al Hasan for 30 off 37 balls with one six and three fours.

The fifth wicket was lost at 129 runs and just three runs later Umar Akmal was caught behind by Mushfiqur off Mahmudullah for 30. Shahid Afridi and the wicket keeper batsman, Sarfraz Ahmed shared the responsibility of enhancing the runs as the first carried on with his usual attacking style. Afridi preferred to score in boundaries instead of running but lost his wicket while trying to further accelerate for 32 off 22 balls which included one six and four fours.

The Green Shirts had lost seven wickets for 178 in 41.3 overs when Sarfraz took over and ensured enough runs for the team. He remained unbeaten for 46 off 52 with 4 fours as Pakistan managed 236 runs for the loss of nine wickets in 50 overs.

Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak and Shakib Al Hasan were the top wicket takers with two wickets each as Nazmul Hossain and Mahmudullah claimed one wicket each.

Bangladesh opened their innings in a positive manner as their openers, Tamim Iqbal and Nazimuddin started off cautiously but the former opened his arms with two boundaries in the fourth over. Tamim was the dominating partner and scored most of the runs while his partner, Nazimuddin was spared a life when he was dropped by Hammad Azam at third man for nine runs. He was unable to utilise the chance and was caught smartly by Younis Khan off Shahid Afridi for 16 off 52 balls without any boundary. The first wicket fell at 68 as Jahurul Islam became the next victim when Younis caught him in the slip off Saeed Ajmal without any addition in the total.

The Green Shirts struck back again as the well set batsman, Tamim Iqbal was caught superbly by Younis off Umar Gul who held the third consecutive catch. The Bengal Tigers were struggling at 81 after losing three top wickets in 23.1 overs when their prominent all rounder, Shakib Al Hasan and the young gun Nasir Hossain joined at the crease.

They crawled to the first hundred of the innings in the 30th over as Shakib dispatched consecutive fours to Hammad in the next over. They kept on consolidating without taking any risks and the fifty of the partnership was posted in the 35th over. Nasir played a subdued innings in the match as the run rate kept in creeping and he was gone for 28 runs off 61 balls with just one boundary after associating 89 runs partnership with Shakib.

The Bengal Tigers suffered a big blow when their authentic batsman Shakib was bowled around his legs by Aizaz Cheema for 68 off 72 with one six and seven fours. He was gone after the addition of just seven runs in the total and it was left to their Captain Mushfiqur Rahim and the late order batsmen. He tried to dispatch the first ball of the 46th over out of the ground but the ball could not cross the boundary rope and was caught at deep square leg by Nasir Jamshed off Aizaz Cheema for 10.

Bangladesh required 39 runs from 24 balls with four wickets in hand when Masharafe Mortaza and Mahmudullah butchered Umar Gul for 14 which included 3 fours. Mortaza was gone on the fourth ball of the 48th over and the home side was still in the match. They required 9 runs from the last over from Aizaz and a four from the last ball but managed just one run and lost the thriller by mere two runs.

Aizaz Cheema was the hero for the Green Shirts with three wickets. Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal also held two wickets each as Shahid Afridi chipped in with one wicket.

Pakistan won the Asia Cup 2012 by a narrow margin of two runs but Bangladesh fought until the last ball and have shown that they are a transformed side ready to finally challenge the best in the game.


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