Dhaka, Mar 11: Mohammad Hafeez's all-round performance helped Pakistan defeat Bangladesh by 21 runs in the opening match of the Asia Cup 2012 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium here on Sunday.
[Scorecard: Pakistan vs Bangladesh, Asia Cup, Mar 11]
Bangladesh were bowled out for 241 in 48.1 overs, chasing 263 for victory.
Hafeez struck a half century opening the batting and later returned to open the bowling too and took two wickets. Hafeez was the Man-of-the-match award. Umar Gul accounted for three wickets.
Shakib Al Hasan (64) was the last man dismissed as the left-hander kept fighting till the end but ran out of partners. He was bowled by Gul in the 49th over to signal the end of the contest.
Earlier, Tamim Iqbal made a cautious start along with Mohammed Nazimuddin. They raised 45 runs for the first wicket in 10.5 overs.
Iqbal, who was controversially omitted from the initial squad, was later added. And he proved his worth with a 89-ball 64 with six boundaries and a six. It was an entirely different approach by the left-handed opener, who is known to be aggressive in his batting.
In the middle of the innings, Bangladesh were pushed back by the Pakistan spinners. Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez did not allow Bangaldesh batsmen to settle.
Afridi struck twice to remove Jahurul Islam and captain Mushfiqur Rahim. Hafeez got two wickets in two balls with Iqbal and Mahmudullah in the 29th over. Nasir Hossan prevented the hat-trick for Hafeez.
Hafeez finished with figures of 2/40 in 10 overs. Afridi ended with 2/49 in 10.
As the spinners put Pakistan in control by reducing the hosts to 135/5 in 28.4 overs, Shakib Al Hasan and Hossain joined hands to put the chase back on track.
Shakib and Hossain put on 89 runs for the sixth wicket. This partnership threatened to take the game away from Pakistan. However, Gul returned for another spell and removed Hossain for 47 which tilted the match.
Until Shakib was in the middle, Bangladesh had hope. But wickets kept tumbling at the other end.
The next match of the tournament is between India and Sri Lanka at the same venue on Tuesday.
Pakistan Innings: Hafeez scores 89 as Pakistan make 262/8 in 50 overs
Pakistan started off brilliantly, collapsed midway and then recovered through the lower order to post a good score of 262/8 in 50 overs against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup 2012 opener at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium here on Sunday.
Mohammad Hafeez (89) and Nasir Jamshed (54) laid a perfect platform with 135-run association for the first wicket before Bangladesh bowlers hit back with quick wickets in the middle stages of the innings.
Towards the end, it was left to Umar Gul (39) and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed (19 not out) to help the team cross the 250-mark.
From 135 for no wicket, Pakistan collapsed to 198/7 in 41.2 overs. At this stage, they were in danger of not batting the full quota of 50 overs. But Gul attacked with a 25-ball 39 with five fours and a six to give them a good chance of starting the Asia Cup on a winning note. However, the pitch is looking good for batting and it will be interesting how Pakistan bowlers restrict the home batsmen.
Fast bowler Shahadat Hossain was the main man who brought Bangladesh back into the game with three wickets from eight overs. Even though he was expensive with 53 runs, three crucial scalps prevented Pakistan from going towards a score in excess of 300.
Shakib Al Hasan too was superb. He bolwed his 10 overs for 41 runs and took two wickets.
Hafeez and Jamshed shared the batting honours. Hafeez missed out on a well deserved century after scoring 89 off 126 balls with seven boundaries.
Left-hander Jamshed made his ODI comeback a memorable one. Playing his first match for Pakistan since August 3, 2009, he stroked his way to his fifth half century. He made a 64-ball 54 with five boundaries and a six.
The middle order could not capitalise on the good work of the openers. Younus Khan, Umar Akmal and captain Misbah-ul-Haq failed. Shahid Afridi was dismissed for a golden duck. Asad Shafiq too was out cheaply.
Toss Report: Bangladesh win toss, opt to field
Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim has won the toss and opted to field first in the opening match against Pakistan in the four-nation Asia Cup here at the Sher e Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, on Sunday.
This is the first match of the 11th edition of Asia Cup. India and Sri Lanka are the other two teams in the tournament. All matches will be day and night clashes and the final is slated for March 22.
India are the defending champions and will open their campaign against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
Pakistan have a new coach in Dav Whatmore.
Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (captain and wicketkeeper), Tamim Iqbal, Nazimuddin, Jahurul Islam, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Nasir Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak, Shafiul Islam, Shahadat Hossain
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq, Younus Khan, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Sarfraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Aizaz Cheema