DHAKA: Umar Gul took three wickets with Mohamamd Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi claiming two each as Pakistan beat Bangladesh by 21 runs in the opening match of the limited-overs Asia Cup tournament on Sunday.
Chasing a target of 263, Bangladesh was dismissed for 241 with 11 balls to spare, with Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan contributing 64 each.
Nasir Hossain scored 47 in a sixth-wicket stand of 89 with Shakib. In Pakistan’s innings, opener Mohammad Hafeez scored 89, Nasir Jamshed made 54 and Gul added 39. Gul finished with bowling figures of 3-58.
Pakistan’s victory was far from straightforward as Bangladesh was just 39 runs away when Nasir was bowled by Gul with four wickets intact.
After Bangladesh was reduced to 135-5, Nasir and Shakib steadied the innings and helped the team reach 224 before losing Nasir.
Bangladesh lost the remaining four wickets for just 17 runs in a hard-fought battle.
Shakib was the last man to go, dismissed by Gul, as he appeared frustrated to watch so many partners fail to make a stand and attempt to win the game. Shahadat Hossain was unbeaten for no runs.
Earlier, Pakistan was cruising at 135-1 in the 28th over but was reduced to 198-7 by the 42nd over in the face of tight bowling by Shahadat Hossain (3-53) and Shakib (2-41).
Tailender Gul faced only 25 balls in his aggressive innings to help a struggling Pakistan reach 251-8. Sarfraz Ahmed was not out for 19 while Saeed Ajmal was unbeaten on eight at the end.
The 11th edition of the Asia Cup also involves India and Sri Lanka. India has won the competition five times while Sri Lanka won it four times. Pakistan has won it once.