Mirpur: Pakistan won the Asia Cup cricket tournament beating hosts Bangladesh by two runs in a thrilling final at the Shere Bangla National Stadium here on Thursday.
Bangladesh suffered a heart break, despite being the best team in the tournament with wins against heavyweights India and Sri Lanka.
Chasing a target of 237, Bangladesh scored 34 for eight in 50 overs after half-centuries from former skipper Shakib-al-Hasan (68) and opening batsman Tamim Iqbal (60).
Pacer Aizaz Cheema was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers bagging three for 46 while spearhead Umar Gul (2-65) and Saeed Ajmal (2-40) picked two wickets each. Shahid Afridi bowled miserly conceeding just 28 runs and picking one wicket from his 10 overs.
Tamim gave Bangladesh a good start but his dismissal triggered a mini collapse as Bangladesh slumped from 68 for no loss to 81 for three in 23.1 overs. Tamim hit eight fours in his run-a-ball innings before mistiming a pull off Gul only to find Younis Khan at extra cover.
Shakib and Nasir Hossain (28) raised hope of a Bangladesh win with their 89-run stand for the fourth wicket but after they fell, the hosts lost way.
Earlier, Bangladesh bowled well to restrict Pakistan to 236 for nine in 50 overs. Opting to field, Bangladesh took wickets at regular intervals as the Pakistanis failed to stitch a good partnership.
Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak was the pick of the bowlers giving away only 26 runs in his ten overs and taking two wickets. Mashrafe Mortaza and Shakib-al-Hasan also picked up two wickets each.
Pakistan opener Mohammad Hafeez (40) held one end but lost wickets around him. Umar Akmal (30) and Hammad Azam (30) put on a stand of 59 runs for the fifth wicket but fell in quick succession to again put the Pakistan team on the backfoot.
Pakistan would have been in deep trouble if it wasn’t for some late heroics by keeper Sarfraz Ahmed (46). Sarfraz smashed pacer Shahadat Hossain — who had a day to forget giving away 63 runs off nine overs — for 19 runs in the last over as Pakistan reached a fighting total.
Shahid Afridi (32) took on the Bangladeshi bowling but a wonderful running catch by Nasir Hossain off Shakib sent the mercurial batsman back to the hut.
Bangladesh put a spirited performance in the field and the slower bowlers had a field day, sharing five wickets between them. Shakib, a former captain, continued his good all-round performance in the tournament with figures of 2-39.