DateLine: 4th July 2008
Pakistan crushed a hapless Bangladesh by ten wickets in the inconsequential last Super League match in the Asia Cup after paceman Abdur Rauf took a career-best 3-24 at National Stadium here on Friday.
The 29-year-old rattled Bangladesh's top order to help Pakistan bowl out the visitors for just 115 in 38.2 overs after the tourists won the toss and elected to bat in overcast conditions.
Pakistan openers Nasir Jamshed scored 52 not out and Salman Butt made an unbeaten 56 to see the home team through at a canter.
The paltry target proved no obstacle whatsoever for the home team as Jamshed and Butt thrashed an innocuous looking Bangladesh attack to all corners of the park.
Butt hit ten boundaries during his 62-ball knock, while Jamshed notched five boundaries and two sixes during his 56 balls.
With nothing to play for except pride since titleholders Sri Lanka and India have already qualified for the July 6 final, Bangladesh's batsmen never looked at ease against disciplined Pakistan bowling.
Rauf, whose previous best of 3-45 came in his debut match against Zimbabwe earlier this year, had opener Nazimuddin (three), captain Mohammad Ashraful (14) and Tamim Iqbal (26) out in his incisive seven-over spell.
Iqbal and Ashraful had the only productive stand of 41 for the second wicket. Ashraful hit Rauf for a six before edging the next ball straight to slip.
Alok Kapali (17) and Mushfiqur Rahim (15) offered little resistance and once Rahim was run out, paceman Rao Iftikhar struck twice with the wickets of Kapali and Mashrafe Mortaza (one) to finish with 2-20.
Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal took 2-19.
Pakistan dropped out-of-form allrounder Shahid Afridi from the line-up which beat India on Wednesday. Captain Shoaib Malik, who missed the last match due to dehydration, returned after regaining full fitness.
Bangladesh remained unchanged from the line-up which lost to Sri Lanka on Monday but that consistency of selection counting for nothing.
(Article: Copyright © 2008 AFP)
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