Pakistan downs Bangladesh by seven wickets
by AFP

Ground:Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan
Scorecard:Pakistan v Bangladesh
Player:Kamran Akmal, Salman Butt, Sohail Khan, Umar Gul, Mashrafe Mortaza, Shakib Al Hasan, Bazid Khan
Event:Bangladesh in Pakistan 2007/08

DateLine: 16th April 2008


Shakib Al Hasan's fighting hundred went in vain as Pakistan downed Bangladesh by seven wickets in the fourth day-night international at Multan Stadium here on Wednesday.


The 21-year-old left-hander notched 108 to lift the tourists to 210 in 49.1 overs but it proved a cake-walk for Pakistan who lost just three wickets as they easily chased down the target in 44.3 overs.


The win gives Pakistan a 4-0 lead in the five-match series, and hands Shoaib Malik's men their 10th consecutive win -- equalling the longest winning one-day streak by a Pakistan team since November 1990.


Pakistan beat India in the fifth match in their 2-3 defeat last year before white washing Zimbabwe 5-0 in February and then four in a row in this series.


"This is a great feeling to have equalled the winning streak. Our bowlers did get swing and although Hasan played a brilliant knock we were always in for a win," said Malik.


Left-handed opener Salman Butt put the home team on track, following up his 76 and 132 in the last two matches with another dominating 74, and adding a brisk 97 for the first wicket with Kamran Akmal who made 36.


Butt and Akmal, who shared a 151-run opening stand in Pakistan's 23-run win in the third match in Lahore on Sunday, batted in the same vein, before Akmal fell to Hasan in the 17th over and Butt was run out in the 24th.


Butt hit eight boundaries during his 84-ball knock while Akmal struck six boundaries and a six off 35 deliveries.


Bazid Khan (51) notched up his second one-day fifty but fell with just 12 needed to win. He added 82 for the third wicket with Mohammad Yousuf who remained not out on 37.


The fifth and final match will be played in Karachi on Saturday.


Earlier Hasan scored his second one-day hundred and shared a Bangladesh record ninth wicket stand of 97 with Mashrafe Mortaza (38) to revive the tourists, who were reeling at 109-8 after they won the toss and batted.


Hasan, who made 75 in the third match on Sunday, took a double in the 47th over to reach his hundred off 115 balls with eight fours.


In all, he faced 120 balls before holing out in the last over to paceman Sohail Khan, who finished with 3-30.


The previous best ninth wicket stand for Bangladesh in one-day cricket was 62 between Khaled Mashud and Mohammad Rafique against the West Indies at St. Lucia four years ago.


Mortaza, who hit just one boundary during his 67-ball knock, was out at long-on in the 48th over.


Hasan, who came in when the scoreboard was at 10-3, also added 37 for the sixth wicket with Farhad Reza (14) after paceman Umar Gul rocked the tourists.


Gul's incisive opening spell of 3-25 left Bangladesh struggling at 16-4 in the sixth over.


Bangladesh were off to a disastrous start, losing opener Junaid Siddique (nought) to Gul off the fifth ball of the second over and then Aftab Ahmed fell to the same bowler for a duck.


From the other end, Mohammad Asif removed Tamim Iqbal (10) in the third. Asif, who returned after a five-month lay-off from an elbow injury, took 2-35.


Gul then had Bangladesh skipper Mohammad Ashraful (four) caught in the slips before Hasan and Mahmudullah Riad (14) added 29 for the fifth wicket.


Hasan and Mortaza batted for 18 overs to give respectability to the team's total. "Except for Hasan and Mortaza we batted badly and lost. We must improve to win the last match," said Ashraful.

(Article: Copyright © 2008 AFP)