When Azhar Ali took the charge of leading Pakistan’s ODI team a few weeks back, he might have been optimistic about playing his first ever ODI series as a captain against Bangladesh. The Bangladesh cricket team, who had an early exit from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and haven’t been really showing any significant performance against major teams; were quite looking forward to win the series from the very start. The result after the 3-ODI series is pretty much in favor of the Bengali tigers.
Taking complete advantage of both Pakistan’s relatively inexperience captain and rest of the team, Bangladesh has successfully achieved a milestone in their national team’s history. By whitewashing Pakistan in the ODI series, they have now won most consecutive ODIs in their homeland. But the bigger accomplishment remains clean-sweeping Pakistan in an ODI series.
Bangladesh did not seem to struggle in any of the matches. After scoring 329, Bangladesh won the first ODI match by 79 runs. Tamim Iqbal starred with a brilliant knock of 132 runs. 3 wickets each from Taskin Ahmed and Arafat Sunny put Pakistani batting lineup on knees and eventually the team was all out for 250 in the 46th over.
The second ODI wasn’t much different, only this time Pakistan batted first giving a target of 240 that Bangladesh achieved with 71 balls to spare. They won by 7 wickets, thanks to the 2nd consecutive century by Tamim Iqbal and a 66-run knock by Mushfiqur Rahim.
Having already lost the series, Pakistan were psychologically under pressure in the third and final ODI. Batting first, Azhar Ali (101) and Sami Aslam (45) gave Pakistan a steady start that didn’t last long. The entire team was bowled out for 250 with Haris Sohail showing some resistance in middle with a decent score of 52 runs.
Tamim Iqbal once again showed his brilliance with the bat and gave his team the early push with his 62-run knock but the main figure was Soumya Sarkar, who scored 125 not out off just 110 balls. His innings included 6 sixes and 13 boundaries. Mushfiqur Rahim remained not out for 49. Junaid Khan was the only productive bowler for Pakistan in terms of wickets.
Though Pakistan had brought a number of youngsters to the ODI side and the captain had no prior team-leading experience, even then Pakistan team will be under tremendous pressure during rest of the series.
Bangladesh on the other hand are joyous over the triumph and looking forward for a similar outcome in the upcoming matches.