Pakistan Cruise To Seven Wicket Win Over Bangladesh
Bangladesh 210 (Shakib Al Hasan 108, Sohail Khan 3-30) v
212-3 (Salman Butt 74, Bazid Khan 51) in Multan
Pakistan won by seven wickets and lead the five-match series 4-0
By Graham Wilson
A 97-run opening partnership between Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal set Pakistan on the way to a seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the fourth One Day International in Multan.
They made light work of a target of 211, with Butt hitting 74 and Bazid Khan 51.
Akmal was dismissed by Shakib Al Hasan, who earlier hit a brilliant century, for 36 and even when Butt was run out by Abdur Razzak, they were well on their way, over halfway to their target with 26 overs to spare.
Bazid scored a patient half-century before Mohammad Yousuf (37) and Fawad Alam (five) eased their side home with five overs and three balls to spare.
Shakib's century helped Bangladesh recover from losing eight wickets for 109 runs to post 210 but it was never enough.
Electing to bat against a Pakistan side boasting a fit-again Mohammad Asif and a recalled Umar Gul, their top order showed no sign of the fighting qualities they had exhibited in the third match when they briefly threatened to chase down over 300, they found themselves in the mire at 16 for four.
Junaid Siddique and Aftab Ahmed picked up ducks before Mohammad Ashraful (four) became the third man to edge Umar Gul (three for 48) behind. In between, Tamim Iqbal gave Mohammad Asif his first of two wickets, Salman Butt taking the catch with Iqbal gone for ten.
Four more wickets fell before Shakib, the only batsman to find some answers for the Pakistan attack, found a willing ally in Mashrafe Mortaza, who decided for once to put his normal game in the locker and stick around, with Bangladesh reaping the rewards with a half-century stand.
Mortaza was out for 38 from 67 balls after he and Shakib had added 98 for the ninth wicket, easily a national record.
Shakib's superb rearguard innings came from 120 balls, a remarkable strike rate considering the carnage at the other end, and he hit six fours.
ï¿½ Cricket World 2008
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