Pakistan exit World Cup despite victory as Shakib shines again for Bangladesh
Pakistan failed to produce a miracle win.
Pakistan coasted to a 94-run World Cup victory over Bangladesh at Lord’s – but bow out of the competition after failing to produce the unlikely margin of victory needed to claim a semi-final spot.
Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed had admitted Pakistan would need a “miracle” to pull off the minimum 316-run victory required to leapfrog New Zealand and into the last four.
And so it proved, as Pakistan could only muster 315 for nine with the bat from their full 50 overs.
Imam-Ul-Haq hit exactly 100, while Babar Azam punched his way to 96.
Shaheen Afridi plundered six wickets for 35 runs as Bangladesh’s lower-order were blown away, with Shadab Khan taking two for 59 too.
Once Pakistan had lost the chance of semi-final progression by the interval this clash naturally lost impetus.
Mickey Arthur’s side still wrapped up victory in style however, with Shaheen to the fore with the ball.
Shakib Al Hasan claimed his seventh half-century of the tournament with a smart 64 that proved in vain for the outgunned Bangladesh.
Those runs moved the all-rounder to the top of the World Cup run-scoring charts, although he may be dislodged by the likes of Rohit Sharma, David Warner, Aaron Finch and Joe Root who all feature in the semi-finals.
Batting second would have ended Pakistan’s semi-final charge before a ball had even been struck or bowled in anger at Lord’s.
So at least Pakistan winning the toss kept this tie interesting for several hours.
But once Sarfaraz’s men had fallen short at the interval, that allowed New Zealand to breathe easy as confirmed semi-finalists.
Pakistan gave it as much of a thrash as they could, but to no avail.
Imam and Babar dovetailed for a tournament-high 157 partnership for Pakistan.
But not even that second-wicket stand could pave the way for Pakistan to reach the golden – and always improbable – target of a 400-plus innings.
Beyond that Pakistan’s top order failed to fire, with Imad Wasim firing 43, but after that Mohammad Hafeez’s 27 proving the next highest score.
Mustafizur Rahman’s five for 75 stymied Pakistan’s progress, and left him second in the tournament wicket-taking stakes behind Australia’s Mitchell Starc.
Shakib was the only man truly to star with the bat for Bangladesh, and his latest 50 allowed him to equal Sachin Tendulkar’s record of seven half-centuries in one World Cup tournament.
The 32-year-old also climbed into the top ten World Cup run-scorers of all time during his innings – passing greats of the game Javed Miandad, Adam Gilchrist, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan in the process.