In a commanding performance, Pakistan secured a resounding seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the World Cup. Pakistan was set a target of 205 runs to win, and Fakhar Zaman’s swift 81, along with Abdullah Shafique’s contribution, guided Pakistan to a comfortable win in just 32.3 overs. Pakistan’s win added to the struggles for Bangladesh, who suffered their sixth consecutive loss in the tournament, officially eliminating them from semi-final contention.
Opting to bat first, Bangladesh’s decision quickly backfired as Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi achieved a significant milestone by taking his 100th one-day international wicket, dismissing Tanzid Hasan lbw with only the fifth ball. Shaheen struck again in his next over, putting Bangladesh in dire straits at 23-3.
Bangladesh showed resilience through Mahmudullah and Liton Das, with Mahmudullah reaching his half-century before being bowled out by Shaheen. The rest of Bangladesh’s innings continued to crumble at regular intervals, with Mohammad Wasim claiming three wickets in seven deliveries to wrap up the innings.
In response, Pakistan started their chase energetically, with Fakhar Zaman demonstrating his intent with powerful sixes. Fakhar’s striking helped Pakistan get close to victory, but he eventually fell 19 runs short of a century when he was dismissed by Mehidy Hasan Miraz. Muhammad Rizwan then secured the win with 105 balls to spare.
While Pakistan’s performance in this match kept their hopes alive for a semi-final berth, it highlighted their earlier underwhelming performances. Pakistan’s strong pace attack had been a key asset, but it had struggled to perform as expected. In this match, Shaheen Afridi delivered an outstanding performance, especially with the new ball. However, he had faced challenges due to a knee injury and had not been at his best. Pakistan’s fast bowlers found their form during this game, which may give the team a chance to reach the semi-finals with two more victories. If not, Pakistan will rue the time it took for their pace bowling unit to regain their effectiveness.