Pakistan overcame strong Bangladeshi resistance and managed to won by just two runs in a cliff-hanger to end hosts hopes of making history in the final of the Asia Cup to win the event for the second time after a gap of 12 years.

Shakib Al Hassan’s wicket proved the turning point as Bangladesh later order batsmen failed to cope with the Pakistani bowling and fell three runs short of victory target. The Asia Cup showed that Bangladeshi players have learnt a lot from the Bangladesh Premier League and it worked as tonic for host players as they fielded and bowled well but their batsmen struggled against Pakistani bowling at a slow wicket which helped bowlers.

Though Bangladeshi played with dedication but Pakistan players hold nerves to make come back strongly to dash the hopes of Bangladesh and snatched a thrilling victory. Bangladesh players’ performance speaks volumes of improvement in every passing game as they made two major upsets in the tournament. First they outclassed India and then Sri Lanka to make it to the finals.

Bengal Tigers played well but Thursday was not their day and was dejected after loss. Pakistani spinners and pacers bowled well and put immense pressure to the Bangladeshi players to win the tournament.

Tamim kept his team on track for achieving the victory target but after his departure, Shakib Al Hassan maintained the momentum till his presence at the crease and Bangladesh was well on way to achieve feat for his team. After his departure the game started tilting either side. Cheema’s quick two wickets burst turns the table on Bangladesh, first he claimed Shakib and then in the next over sent skipper Mushfiqur to pavilion to bring back match into Pakistan hand.

Bangladesh players started feeling the heat as the asking run rate was going up but Mashrafe Murtaza’s 9-ball 18 runs eased out some pressure. But after his departure, Pakistan get initiative again but in the last four overs match started tilting again either way and in the last over Aizaz Cheema kept his nerves and earned victory for Pakistan. Bangladesh needed four runs on the last ball but they could score one run and thus Pakistan registered a 2-run nail-biting finish. PCB chief Zaka Ashraf along with his Bangladesh counterpart witnessed the match and was very jubilant.

Earlier, Bangladesh bowlers presented a disciplined show to help restrict Pakistan to a modest 236 for 9. Backed by a large home crowd, Bangladesh made a dream start to their maiden Asia Cup title quest by striking early blows. But in the end Shahdat Hossain failed to keep the momentum going and was wayward as he gave 19 runs in the final over of the innings and was guilty of bowling two no-balls, which not only boosted visitors score but also their confidence.

Young Sarfaraz top-scored for Pakistan with an unbeaten 46, while Shahid Afridi played a quick fire knock of 22-ball 32-run cameo to wriggle team out of trouble. Hafeez (40), Umar Akmal (30) and Hammad Azam (30) also added useful runs in team’s total. Pacer Mashrafe Mortaza (2/48)), and spinners Abdur Razak (2/26) and Shakib Al Hasan (2/39) also bowled well.

The cricket circles of the city congratulated Pakistan team on their second Asia Cup title win.