Pakistan stormed past Bangladesh by 94 runs in their final round-robin fixture of the 2019 World Cup at Lord’s, but even that couldn’t earn them a place in the semi-finals. Steven Lynch tells us why in the 2020 Wisden Almanack.
Pakistan v Bangladesh
Match 43, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
July 5, 2019
New Zealand’s stumble had given Pakistan a tantalising glimpse of the semi-finals – trouble was, they had to win by more than 300 runs to qualify on net run-rate. Perhaps bothered by the ramifications of losing to the former East Pakistan, they didn’t show enough intent, pottering to 38 for one in the powerplay and to 115 by halfway, even though the second-wicket pair were sharing a stand eventually worth 157.
Babar Azam went for 96 after easing Mohammad Saifuddin for consecutive fours, but Imam-ul-Haq completed the World Cup century that had eluded his more famous uncle, Inzamam, watching from a hospitality box. Next ball, he trod on his stumps. Imad Wasim sparkled, but also forced his captain, Sarfaraz Ahmed, to retire briefly after smashing him on the arm with a straight-drive.
Mustafizur Rahman collected a second successive five-for, while off-spinner Mehedi Hasan whirred through ten overs without conceding a boundary, apart from his own wild throw that beat the keeper.
Pakistan needed to bowl Bangladesh out for seven to qualify and, after a maiden prolonged the agony, were officially eliminated in the second over. But Bangladesh, playing their first ODI at Lord’s, were never on terms.
Shakib Al Hasan alone made much impression, taking his tournament aggregate to 606. He fell in the 33rd over, a third victim for Shaheen Shah Afridi, the first teenager to take a World Cup five-for.
With members showing little interest in tickets, MCC – anxious to avoid negative publicity about a half-empty Pavilion – invited in more than 200 children from local state schools.
First published in the 2020 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack