A clean sweep for the host

PAKISTAN climbed three places — to number four — in the International Cricket Council's one-day international rankings with a 5-0 rout of Bangladesh in the limited-overs series.

RIZWAN EHSAN ALI

PAKISTAN climbed three places — to number four — in the International Cricket Council's one-day international rankings with a 5-0 rout of Bangladesh in the limited-overs series. Luck deserted the Bangladesh skipper Khaled Mahmud, who lost all but one toss to his rival skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq. The only time when Khaled won the toss, his team gave a real fight to Pakistan — in the fourth game of the series. But Man of the Series Yousuf Youhana used all his experience and came up with an unbeaten 94 to help Pakistan edge past Bangladesh by five wickets with only one ball to spare under lights at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

The victorious Pakistan team which thrashed Bangladesh 5-0 in the ODI series. — Pic. AFP-

The only blot on Pakistan's emphatic victory in the limited-overs series was the surprise inclusion of 19-year-old Junaid Zia, son of Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Tauqir Zia. The controversial medium fast bowler came from nowhere to win his one-day international cap ahead of far deserving candidates. He took three wickets in four games, all three coming at a time when Pakistan was on the brink of victory in Faisalabad's second game. Had any other bowler come up with an analysis of 7-0-35-0 in his debut one-dayer, the selectors would have surely dumped that player for good, but Junaid got four successive games. When he was finally dropped from the team, his three wickets in four games had cost him 127 runs with an average of 42.33. The series defeat extended Bangladesh's winless run to 42 games since it last beat Pakistan in a controversial World Cup match at Nottingham in 1999.

First ODI at Multan: It was hard to believe that the Bangladesh bowlers would concede 323 and claim just three wickets in Inzamam's hometown where only two days ago the team came so close to victory in the final Test. Yasir Hameed, who started his Test career against Bangladesh with centuries in each innings at Karachi, plundered 116 off 132 balls in Pakistan's emphatic 137-run win.

Yasir and Hafeez set the pace early when they put on 62 runs at an average of better than a run-a-ball before Hafeez was run out for 27.Yasir and Yousuf Youhana then put on 120 runs off 135 balls and Bangladesh had to wait until the 34th over to get its second success. Youhana attempted a needless single and slipped midway through the crease. Mashrafe Bin Murtaza, on his follow through, did a smart bit of fielding and made a direct hit at the non-striker's end, which terminated Youhana's fine innings of 49 off 66 deliveries.

Yasir, who completed his half-century off 81 balls, reached his maiden century in one-day internationals off the next 41 balls. When Yasir departed in the 39th over at 211, after hitting 14 fours and two sixes, the stage was set for Inzamam and Younis Khan to take charge and punish the hapless Bangladesh bowlers to all parts of the Multan Cricket Stadium.

Younis played a little cameo, an unbeaten 59 off a mere 31 balls, hitting some extraordinary sixes off sweep shots as Pakistan hammered 112 runs in the last 11 overs. Inzamam, too, kept the momentum going and remained unbeaten on 56 off 48 deliveries. Pakistan posted its best ever total against Bangladesh, surpassing its previous best of 320 for three at Dhaka last year.

Mushfiqur Rehman, flown in especially for the one-day series, and Mashrafe conceded well over seven an over without a wicket, while captain Khaled also went wicketless after conceding 65 runs.

Pakistan's Yousuf Youhana raises his bat after scoring a century in the second ODI at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad. Youhana, who was consistent with the bat, was later declared the Man of the Series. -- Pic. REUTERS-

The match was as good as over when Pakistan's seamers Umar Gul, Shabbir Ahmad and Abdul Razzaq removed half the side for just 52 runs, inside the first hour of Bangladesh's chase.

Mushfiqur delayed the inevitable with 36 runs and dominated the 46-run last wicket partnership with Mohammad Rafique (19) as Bangladesh was bowled out for 186 in the 44th over. Junaid, who conceded 19 runs in his first five overs, was hammered for 16 runs in his second spell of two overs. Part-time off-spinner Hafeez claimed three wickets for 17 while Razzaq also grabbed as many scalps conceding 32 runs.

The scores: Pakistan 323 for three in 50 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 27, Yasir Hameed 116, Yousuf Youhana 49, Inzamam-ul-Haq 56 not out, Younis Khan 59 not out) beat Bangladesh 186 in 43.2 overs (Rajin Saleh 25, Alok Kapali 26, Mushfiqur Rahman 36 not out, Abdul Razzaq three for 32, Mohammad Hafeez three for 17).

Second ODI at Faisalabad: Yousuf Youhana made a splendid century (106) as Pakistan handed a 74-run defeat to Bangladesh at the Iqbal Stadium which was hosting a one-day international after the Sri Lanka vs England match in the 1996 World Cup.

Had Bangladesh grabbed the early chances, Pakistan's total could have been far less than the 243 for eight it posted in the end. Two of Bangladesh's best fielders, Alok Kapali and Razin Saleh, gave lives to openers Yasir and Hafeez early in the innings.

However, both the openers failed to capitalise on the dropped chances and it was Youhana, who bailed Pakistan out of trouble. Inzamam, who made 41 off 46 balls, added 87 runs off 110 balls for the third wicket with Youhana but the skipper's departure in the 26th over saw a middle-order collapse. Younis, Shoaib Malik and Razzaq, all fell cheaply. Wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal, included in the side after Rashid Latif was banned for the whole series for claiming a false catch of Kapali in the third Test, and Youhana, combined in a valuable 53-run seventh wicket stand.

Youhana scripted his innings with singles and twos. He hit just seven fours and a straight six off Mashrafe in the last over of the innings to score 106 off 127 balls before he was the eighth man out with only four balls remaining in the innings.

Bangladesh's find of the tour, Razin Saleh, fought a lone battle and scored 64 off 93 balls as the team lost nine wickets for 82 runs in a dramatic collapse. Bangladesh was cruising well until the 19th over at 87 for one.

However, once Razzaq trapped Habibul Bashar (25) leg before wicket and Razin chipped straight to Umar Gul at long on in the 28th over, Bangladesh fell like a pack of cards and the side was dismissed for 169 in 42.1 overs.

Pakistan's Yasir Hameed, who started his Testccareer against Bangladesh with centuries in each innings at Karachi, plundered 116 off 132 balls in his team's emphatic 137-run victory in the first one-dayer at Multan. -- Pic. AFP-

Junaid must be thankful to his skipper for giving him another chance after the medium fast bowler conceded 16 in his first two overs. Junaid claimed the last three wickets, while Shoaib Malik spun the web around the Bangladesh batsmen and gave little away in claiming three for 34 off his full quota of 10 overs. Razzaq and Umar shared the remaining four wickets between them.

The scores: Pakistan 243 for eight in 50 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 26, Yousuf Youhana 106, Inzamam-ul-Haq 41, Kamran Akmal 26, Rajin Saleh three for 48) beat Bangladesh 169 in 42.1 overs (Habibul Bashar 25, Rajin Saleh 64, Alok Kapali 37, Shoaib Malik three for 34, Junaid Zia three for 21).

Third ODI at Lahore: A light tower at the Gaddafi Stadium twice broke down, but Pakistan took an unassailable 3-0 lead with another comfortable 42-run win.

Half centuries by Youhana (65) and Inzamam (64) helped Pakistan post 257 for nine. Bangladesh's target was revised to 244 off 44 overs after power failures twice suspended play at the PCB's headquarters in Lahore and Bangladesh fell in front of Umar Gul's hostile spell of fast bowling (five for 17) to end up at 201 for nine.

Once again it was the sloppy Bangladesh fielding which allowed Pakistan to post a decent total. Youhana was thrice let off the hook in his 30s with Khaled Mashud missing an easy stumping chance, Khaled Mahmud failing to hit the stumps from close range and Razin dropping a hard chance at point. Yasir, who escaped a run out chance on 35 when Khaled Mahmud couldn't hit the stumps at the non-striker's end, and Youhana added 77 runs in 99 balls. Tapash Baisya took a well-judged catch in the deep, which ended Yasir's knock of 40. Youhana departed in the 31st over when he dragged a Mushfiqur delivery back onto his stumps after scoring 65 off 74 balls with nine fours. Baisya, with his right-arm medium fast bowling, claimed three wickets in five deliveries in the penultimate over of the innings and returned with four for 56 as Pakistan finished its allotted 50 overs at 257 for nine.

One of the six light-towers at the stadium disrupted play for about an hour and Bangladesh's target was revised to 244 off 44 overs. Hannan Sarkar (61) — playing in his first match of the series replacing Mohammad Ashraful who made just three runs in three innings as opener — and Kapali (61) put on 95 runs for the fourth wicket. But the asking rate kept on going up and none of the Bangladesh middle-order batsmen could accelerate. Umar Gul bowled a fiery opening spell of 7-2-9-3 and came back to bag the wickets of Kapali and Mashrafe as Bangladesh just had the consolation of crossing the 200-run mark to finish at 201 for nine.

The scores: Pakistan 257 for nine in 50 overs (Yasir Hameed 40, Yousuf Youhana 65, Younis Khan 41, Inzamam-ul-Haq 64 not out, Tapash Baisya four for 56) beat Bangladesh 201 for nine in 44 overs (Hannan Sarkar 61, Alok Kapali 61, Umar Gul five for 17). Bangladesh's target was revised to 244 runs from 44 overs.

Fourth ODI at Rawalpindi: Bangladesh captain Khaled Mahmud at last succeeded in calling it right at the toss. Pakistan survived a scare before scraping through in a thriller at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

Razin (47) was the top-scorer while Habibul Bashar (37), Tushar Imran (33) and Sarkar (25) made useful contributions in Bangladesh's total of 222 for eight.

Umar Gul appeals for an lbw decision against Bangladesh's Habibul Bashar in the third one-dayer at Lahore. Gul, who scalped five wickets, bowled his team to victory. -- Pic. AFP-

With his father watching from the presidential enclosure, Junaid was the most expensive bowler with figures of 6-0-46-0 and was chiefly responsible in helping Bangladesh cross the 220-run mark. A 49-run sixth wicket stand between Tushar and Mashrafe helped Bangladesh score 77 runs in the last 10 overs.

Mohammad Sami, playing competitive cricket for the first time since injuring his ankle while representing Kent in the county championship in August, claimed two wickets for 41 runs in his comeback match.

Pakistan lived up to its reputation of being a bad chaser, but it was only the sheer brilliance of Youhana that helped the home team to achieve a 4-0 lead in the series. Imran Nazir failed to cash in on an ideal comeback opportunity and scored only 28. However, together with Younis, Youhana built the innings nicely with an 85-run third wicket partnership off 137 balls. But Younis, after settling down well on a slow wicket, was trapped leg before by left-arm spinner Rafique and Inzamam gave a simple catch to Baisya at deep mid-wicket as Pakistan slowly started to fall behind at 170 for four in the 42nd over. Pakistan needed 36 off as many balls and 15 in the last two overs.

Youhana, who raised his half-century with a straight six, kept his cool in the tense moment, before he hit Baisya over long on for the winning boundary when one run was required for victory off the last two deliveries. The only consolation for Bangladesh was that it took the match right down to the wire and had it got a few more runs on the board, it could have surprised Pakistan after four years.

The scores: Bangladesh 222 for eight in 50 overs (Hannan Sarkar 25, Rajin Saleh 47, Habibul Bashar 37, Tushar Imran 33) lost to Pakistan 226 for five in 49.5 overs (Imran Nazir 28, Yousuf Youhana 94 not out, Younis Khan 37).

Fifth ODI at Karachi: The whitewash was on the cards for Bangladesh after the Pakistan batsmen ran up a total of 302 for five in front of some disciplined 25,000 spectators at the National Stadium.

Yasir returned with a bang as an opener after being rested at Rawalpindi and scored 82 off 107 balls. Youhana took his tally of runs to 366 in the series with yet another half-century, which also saw him completing 5,000 runs in one-day internationals.

The tone of a big total was once again set by Hafeez and Yasir, who put on 95 runs for the opening wicket in 133 balls. After Hafeez was smartly stumped by Mashud off Rafique's leg side wide delivery, Yasir added a further 74 runs off 66 balls with Youhana before he too was intelligently stumped by Mashud off the bowling of part-time spinner Razin. Youhana departed immediately after hitting a big six off Mashrafe to complete his half-century off just 32 balls with the help of three sixes and six fours.

But Inzamam (59 not out off 54 balls) and Shoaib Malik (31) kept pushing the scoring-rate with another quick 61-run partnership, before Malik top-edged to Rafique in the 47th over. Inzamam then took charge and, together with Razzaq, added another 42 runs off the last 23 balls of the innings. Mashrafe conceded 63 off his nine overs, while Khaled Mahmud went for 64 runs for the solitary wicket of Shoaib.

The pressure of scoring well over a run-a-ball was always on Bangladesh, which, instead, preferred to play out its quota of 50 overs and posted its best total of the series — 244 for seven off 50 overs.

Sarkar (50), Kapali (69) and Razin (71), all scored half centuries but they never tried to go for a victory. Kapali and Razin set a new Bangladesh record for the third wicket in one-day internationals when they added 128 runs off 135 balls. However, both departed at the total of 221 with Razin getting run out and Kapali bowled by Umar.

Tushar was smartly held low down by Inzamam at short cover to become Mohammad Sami's one of two victims and Bangladesh finally settled for 244 for seven off its 50 overs.

The scores: Pakistan 302 for five in 50 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 44, Yasir Hameed 82, Yousuf Youhana 52, Inzamam-ul-Haq 59 not out, Shoaib Malik 31) beat Bangladesh 244 for seven in 50 overs (Hannan Sarkar 50, Rajin Saleh 71, Alok Kapali 69).