Dhaka, March 22: Pakistan won a thrilling Asia Cup final to edge home by just two runs against Bangladesh in the final over at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Thursday.
List Of Previous Asia Cup Champions
[Scorecard: Pakistan Vs Bangladesh, Asia Cup Final]
It was so near yet so far for the hosts as they could not chase down a modest target of 237. They needed 9 runs off the final over but were restricted to only 6 by Aizaz Cheema. Bangladesh ended up with 234/8 in 50 overs. In the last ball of the match, they required 4 to win but Shahadat Hossain managed only a single as a packed stadium was stunned into silence.
This was Pakistan's second Asia Cup title after having won this tournament in 2000, also in Bangladesh. India are the most successful team with 5 titles followed by Sri Lanka (4).
It was an emotional night for Bangladesh players as they were playing in the Asia Cup final for the first time. The loss did hurt them badly as most of the players were in tears after this heartbreaking loss.
Bangladesh conceded 19 runs in Pakistan's last over of the innings. It was bowled by Shahadat and it was he who had to come out to bat to face the final ball. Abdur Razzak was dismissed bowled on the penultimate ball of the match.
Bangladesh might have lost but they need to be congratulated for fighting till the end. They beat India and Sri Lanka in the league stage and had lost to Pakistan by 21 runs. Again, it was a fine performance by the hosts and they can hold their heads high.
The hosts were in the hunt as long as Shakib Al Hasan was in the middle. However, his dismissal in the 44th over turned things for Pakistan. Cheema bowled Shakib for 68. They need 84 runs off 60 balls.
Left-handed opener Tamim Iqbal was again among the runs, scoring his fourth successive half century. Nasir Hossain struggled today as he made only 28 off 63 balls.
Shakib was adjudged Man-of-the-match while Shahid Afridi was Man-of-the-match. India's Virat Kohli won an award for ending with highest runs in the tournament, 357.
Earlier, Bangladesh had a great chance of creating history by winning their first ever Asia Cup title as they restricted Pakistan to 236/9 in 50 overs.
Fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza, left-arm spinners Abdur Razzak and Shakib Al Hassan took two wickets apiece as the hosts kept Pakistan to less than 250. But they will be ruing the fact that they conceded 19 runs off the last over, bowled by Shahadat Hossain. This was the best over of the innings.
For Pakistan, wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed topscored with 46 runs and remained unbeaten. The next best was from opener Mohammad Hafeez, who made 40. Shahid Afridi made a quick 22-ball 32 with four boundaries and a six.
Toss Report: Bangladesh win toss, to bowl first
Bangaldesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim won the toss and chose to field first against Pakistan.
Bangladesh have retained the same side that won against Sri Lanka while Pakistan made one change, bringing back wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed for left-arm paceman Wahab Riaz.
This is the first time Bangladesh are playing in an Asia Cup final while Pakistan have claimed the trophy only once.
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Aizaz Cheema, Hammad Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Saeed Ajmal, Sarfraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Younis Khan.
Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (captain, wicketkeeper), Abdur Razzak, Jahurul Islam, Mahmudullah, Mashrafe Mortaza, Nasir Hossain, Nazimuddin, Nazmul Hossain, Shahadat Hossain, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal.
Umpires: Steve Davis (Australia) and Ian Gould (England)
Third Umpire: S Ravi (India)
Match Referee: David Boon (Australia)