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KKR all-rounder’s heroics go in vain as Pak win final
By IPL Desk
Mumbai 23 March 2012
Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was adjudicated Player-of-the-Series even as Bangladesh lost the Asia Cup final to Pakistan. After being put in to bat, Pakistan scored a below-par 236, but their bowlers, led by Aizaz Cheema (three for 46) and Shahid Afridi (one for 28), managed to restrict Bangladesh to 234 at the end of 50 overs.
KKR’s Hasan finished the series with 237 runs from four innings (avg. of 59.25) and picked up six scalps from 40 overs of bowling while conceding 199 runs (economy-rate 4.97). He also finished as the fourth highest run-getter, and was also among the 10 leading wicket-takers, in the Asia Cup.
Shakib was the driving force in taking Bangladesh into the final of the tournament. Shakib smashed a 31-ball 49 against India in the hosts’ second league encounter, which helped his side overhaul India’s mammoth score of 289. Then, in their final league outing against Sri Lanka, Shakib’s all-round performance of 10-1-56-2, and 46-ball 56, secured a five-wicket win for Bangladesh. Shakib was given the Man-of-the-Match award in both those games.
Even in the final against Pakistan, Shakib picked up the wickets of Hammad Azam (30) and Shahid Afridi (32) in an incisive performance that read 10-1-39-2. Then, when Bangladesh stumbled to 81 for three while chasing Pakistan’s score of 236, his 89-run stand with Nasir Hossain almost set the hosts up for a win. However, with Aizaz Cheema removing Shakib (68 off 72) in the 44th over, Bangladesh’s chances of winning their first-ever Asia Cup title faded. Lower-order batsmen Mahmudullah (17* off 16) and Mashrafe Mortaza (18 off 14) hit a few boundaries to give the local fans much hope, but the Pakistan bowlers held their nerve to deliver a two-run win, and the Asia Cup, for their side.
Brief scores: Pakistan 236/9 in 50.0 overs (Sarfraz Ahmed 46*, Shakib Al Hasan 2/39) beat Bangladesh 234/8 in 50.0 overs (Shakib Al Hasan 68, Aizaz Cheema 3/46) by two runs
Man-of-the-match: Shahid Afridi for his all-round performance; 32-ball 32 (4x4, 1x6) and 10-1-28-1.
Mumbai Indians coach and mentor Shaun Pollock joined the team practice that commenced a few days ago in anticipation of a big IPL season. The former South Africa captain was in the thick of the action during the net practice at the Wankhede Stadium.
RP Singh trained under the watchful eyes of the former all-rounder and received pointers on pace bowling. Later, it was local talent Sushant Marathe’s turn to receive some useful tips on his stance and balance while batting.
Another cricketer who has been sweating it out in the MI nets for the last couple of days is spinner Pragyan Ojha. The left-arm spinner has been working hard on his bowling under the guidance of Robin Singh.
In the batting session, the likes of TL Suman and Vidarbha’s Apoorva Wankhede cleared the ropes effortlessly, treating onlookers to some exciting shots. The bowlers, including Ojha, had to bear the brunt of the hard-hitting.