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Bangladesh break 16-year Pakistan hoodoo with emphatic win

44Bangladesh have finally broken their 16-year old Pakistan jinx in all forms of cricket in some style, crushing them by 79 runs with a superlative all-round show in the first ODI in Mirpur.

Two scintillating centuries by opener Tamim Iqbal (132) and wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim (106) powered the Tigers to a daunting 329 for 6 – their highest total in an ODI.

Taskin Ahmed led Bangladesh’s defence as Pakistan were bundled out for 250 in 45.2 overs at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Friday.

The victory registered Bangladesh’s first win against Pakistan since the 1999 World Cup and see them take an early lead in the three-match series.

The Tigers put up a commanding batting display as Tamim smashed the bowlers to all corners in a 178-run third wicket stand with Mushfiq – their highest for any wicket.

This is also the first time that two Bangladesh batsman have scored centuries in a 50-over match.

After stand-in skipper Shakib Al Hasan won the toss, the hosts were off to a good start as Tamim and Soumya Sarkar’s (20) opening stand brought 48 runs.

After Sarkar ran himself out, Pakistan bowlers turned the screws on the Bangladesh batsmen.

Mahmudullah (5), who had a great World Cup run, survived some nervy moments at the crease before throwing his wicket away, castled by Rahat Ali.

Mushfiq, in at four, was in the fifth gear right from the start as he knocked the ball around sensibly while milking boundaries off loose balls.

Pakistan were offered a chance soon, but spinner Saad Nasim dropped a return catch off Tamim on 48 in the 23rd over which proved very costly for his team.

The duo continued to punish some lacklustre back-up Pakistan bowling. Tamim bludgeoned Haris Sohail for two successive sixes in the 28th over.

Junaid Khan then dropped Mushfiq at mid-on when the batsman top-edged Azhar Ali in the next over.

Tamim played Saeed Ajmal down the leg side for a boundary to bring up his fifth ODI century off 112 balls. It was the left-hander’s first hundred since March 2013.

The duo then knocked up 55 runs in the batting powerplay as Tamim thrashed Ajmal for 18 runs in the 37th over that included two boundaries and a six by the left-hander.

Tamim’s brilliant 135-ball innings came to end in the 42nd over when he top-edged an attempted pull off Wahab Riaz to Mohammad Rizwan at mid-off.

Mushfiq, however, refused to slow down at the other end, raking up a quickfire half-century stand with Shakib for the fourth wicket.

Mushfiq glided Ajmal to the third man boundary in the 45th over to get his third ODI century off just 69 balls – Bangladesh’s third fastest ton after Shakib’s off 63 and 68 balls.

Wahab ended Mushfiq’s onslaught when the batsman edged to the keeper but Bangladesh were already on their way to a huge total.

Shakib (31), who was out in the last ball of the innings, and Sabbir (15) continued the late surge to take their side to a total which later proved beyond the 1992 world champions.

Some lusty hitting towards the death overs saw Bangladesh rake up 93 runs in the last 10.

Wahab Riaz was the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 59.

But their trump card Ajmal took a pasting to finish on 0 for 74 in his 10 on his return to international cricket. It was the worst figures in ODIs for the off-spinner. He conceded 67 runs in his last 6 overs.

Pakistan had a decent start in their chase with the openers adding 53 runs before spinner Arafat Sunny gave the Tigers first breakthrough by dismissing Sarfraz Ahmed (24).

Mohammad Hafeez (4) ran himself out before Azhar Ali (72) and Haris Sohail’s (51) recovery stand of 75 brought the chase back on track.

The duo played sensibly rotating the strikes to stop the run rate climbing much with timely boundaries.

Taskin Ahmed came in to take out both the batsmen within three overs and peg Pakistan back in the huge chase.

Shakib then brought Sunny back into the attack. The left-arm spinner spun in two breaks in an over as the tourists slumped to 217 for 6.

Rizwan, who bludgeoned Abul Hasan for 19 runs in 29th over, offered some resistance with a quickfire 67. But he became Rubel Hossain’s only wicket.

The Tigers then cleaned up the Pakistan tail with the target still 80 runs away.

Shakib gave all the credit to Tamim and Mushfiq at the presentation ceremony saying they ‘took the game away’.

“It became easier for us as a bowling unit to contain them (Pakistan batsmen) who made mistakes under pressure,” he added.

Pakistan captain Azhar Ali did not differ with Shakib.

“We made some mistakes in the field and dropped some catches at the wrong time and the credit goes to the Bangladesh batsmen.

“They got 30-40 runs extra. Rizwan batted well, we had a few positives. We will fix the mistakes and come strong in the next game.”