Pakistan 205 for 3 (Fakhar 81, Shafique 68, Mehidy 3-60) beat Bangladesh 204 (Mahmudullah 56, Litton 45, Shakib 43, Afridi 3-23, Wasim 3-31) by seven wickets
Pakistan put in their most convincing performance of the World Cup to end their longest World Cup losing run, trouncing a dismal Bangladesh by seven wickets and keeping their faint hopes of semi-final qualification alive.
The win was set up by a commanding performance from Shaheen Shah Afridi ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/shaheen-shah-afridi-1072470) – now the fastest to 100 ODI wickets ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/records/fastest-to-100-wickets-283531) for quick bowlers and the leading wicket-taker at this World Cup – to dismiss Bangladesh for 204. Fakhar Zaman ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/fakhar-zaman-512191), freshly recalled to the side, then turned in his best showing in months, a vintage 74-ball 81 that set Pakistan up for a win that gave both their confidence and net run-rate a shot in the arm.
It felt like a classic Pakistan performance right from the outset, first-over Afridi wicket and all. He trapped Tanzid Hasan off the fifth ball to push up to 100 wickets and, taking advantage of a moving ball, got his second in his next over, getting Najmul Hossain Shanto caught at square leg. Haris Rauf made it three, hitting back after being spanked for three boundaries in his first over, drawing an edge from Mushfiqur Rahim that sent him on his way.
Bangladesh’s best passage of play followed, a 79-run partnership between Litton Das ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/litton-das-536936) and Mahmudullah ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/mahmudullah-56025) that reset the innings and undid the early damage somewhat. It helped that Pakistan’s premier legspinner Usama Mir had another off day, unable to land his lengths consistently. He found himself regularly punished, particularly by Mahmudullah, who looked by far the most accomplished batter.
The turning point came when Litton fell with the softest of dismissals against a harmless delivery from Iftikhar Ahmed, a long hop which the batter wafted up to short midwicket. Litton stood transfixed in dismay for nearly half a minute at the crease, almost as if his body would not permit him to walk off.