In the first Super 4 match of the Asia Cup, Pakistan’s pace trio, led by Haris Rauf, delivered an impressive performance, securing a convincing seven-wicket victory over Bangladesh. Haris Rauf’s outstanding figures of 4/19 and Naseem Shah’s 3/34 effectively dismantled Bangladesh’s batting lineup, thwarting their hopes of setting a challenging total. Despite a century partnership between Mushfiqur Rahim (64) and captain Shakib Al Hasan (53), Bangladesh ultimately posted 193 runs in 38.4 overs. Pakistan successfully chased down the target in 39.3 overs.
Bangladesh won the toss and chose to bat, but Pakistan’s bowlers were relentless, with Haris Rauf playing a pivotal role. Rauf earned the player of the match title for his crucial breakthroughs, including the early dismissals of Mohammad Naim and Towhid Hridoy. In his second spell, Rauf further disrupted Bangladesh’s progress by dismissing Mushfiqur Rahim and Taskin Ahmed.
“It was hot out there, but I’ve played a lot of cricket here. I play PSL for Lahore, the crowd always expects us to perform here. Before any game, we do plan as a bowling unit. We talk about bowling to different plans based on the game phase. Hard length was tough to play here, and the plan was to keep bowling stump to stump. Didn’t need to go to the yorker today,” stated Rauf.
Haris Rauf mentioned that the weather conditions in Lahore were challenging, but he was accustomed to playing in hot climates due to his experiences with Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League. He expressed his ambition to be named the “player of the series.”
“I keep working hard and I have high goals for myself, I want to be the Player of the Series in this Asia Cup, let’s see how the tournament proceeds,” stated Rauf.
Pakistan still has matches remaining against India and Sri Lanka in the Super 4 stage before the final on September 17. The focus of the ODI tournament will now shift to Sri Lanka, where Pakistan is set to face arch-rivals India for the second time, following the abandonment of their initial group-stage encounter due to rain. Bangladesh will also take on Sri Lanka in an upcoming match scheduled for Saturday.
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