Pakistan complete clean sweep


Bangladesh's batting was again exposed by Pakistan's spinners as they failed to chase down the visitors' modest total of 177 in a 58-run defeat in the third ODI in Chittagong on Tuesday.

Bangladesh's batting was again exposed by Pakistan's spinners as they failed to chase down the visitors' modest total of 177 in a 58-run defeat in the third ODI in Chittagong on Tuesday.

It was a third successive victory for Misbah-ul-Haq's men adding to a crushing win in the only Twenty20 international as they made a clean sweep of the limited overs matches on the Bangladesh tour.

Pakistan skipper Misbah won the toss and batted on the slow Chittagong track which soon proved to be the downfall of opener Mohammad Hafeez. Just four balls into the match, the right-hander pushed at one far too early and handed Farhad Reza an easy catch on the offside off the bowling of Shafiul Islam.

Asad Shafiq and Younis Khan then shared in a 37-run partnership before the former played around one from Shakib Al Hasan and had to walk off as his bails were disturbed. Younis (26) then also followed as he edged an easy catch to wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim to become the first of Abdur Razzak's three victims.

At 39 for three it was left to Misbah and Umar Akmal to steady the ship, and steady it they did. The pair shared in a 94-run stand for the fourth wicket with Akmal contributing 57, while his skipper chipped in with a patient knock of 47 off 89 balls.

The lower order and tail offered little to no resistance as Shoaib Malik failed again with a second-ball duck, while Shahid Afridi played a rash slog off Elias Sunny to be caught by Nasir Hossain for nine.

Mahmudullah then came into the attack for Bangladesh and in the space of 1.1 overs picked up figures of three for four. The spinner accounted for all of Abdur Rehman, Sohail Tanvir and Umar Gul as the Pakistan batsmen failed to come to terms with the pitch.

In the end it was a paltry 177 which Pakistan managed to post, but only a major collapse in the Bangladesh innings would keep the visitors in the game, which exactly what unfolded in the evening session.

The Bangladesh reply got off to a disastrous start as Tamim Iqbal was bowled first ball by Hafeez. The left-hander will want to forget this series having recorded scores of 0, 4 and 0 in the three matches and going out twice to the bowling of Hafeez.

Despite the shaky start, the innings took shape when Shahriar Nafees and Mahmudullah were at the crease. This, even after having to go off temporarily when the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium was plunged into darkness due to a power failure. The duo put on 69 for the second wicket and built a solid platform for the Bangladesh middle order. However, that message wasn't translated to their team-mates as their wickets triggered a collapse when Mushfiqur, Shakib and Nasir all failed to reach double figures, leaving the home side on 83 for six.

Hafeez was the man with the golden arm having closed out his ten overs with a return of three for 27, while Saeed Ajmal showed why he is the top-ranked ODI bowler at present. The spinner was unplayable for the most part as his first five overs went for just one run and included the wicket of Nafees.

Reza (21) and Alok Kapali (12) briefly gave the sparse Chittagong crowd some hope but when Reza became Ajmal's second lbw victim in the 35th over, the result seemed inevitable. Kapali was out five balls later when he was caught by Asad Shafiq off Malik and Elias Sunny became the ninth victim with the score on 119. Malik again was the destroyer as he bowled the right-hander through the gate.

The 58-run win was completed when Shafiul looked to slog Malik out the park, but missed it as his stumps were rattled giving the part-time off-spinner his third wicket and admirable figures of three for six in four overs.

Umar Akmal's 57 was enough to give him the man of the match award, while the Pakistan batsman was also rewarded with the man of the series prize for his 123 runs at an average of 41.

The teams now remain in Chittagong to slug it out in the longer form of the game when the two-Test series gets underway on December 9.