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    Pak beat Bangladesh to win Asia Cup

    Mirpur: Bangladesh's hopes of winning their maiden trophy went up in smoke as Pakistan beat them by two runs in a last-ball nail-biter to win the Asia Cup at the Shere Bangla National Stadium here on Thursday.

    Despite half centuries by Tamim Iqbal (60) and Shakib Al Hasan (68), Bangladesh could not overhaul the 237-run target set by Pakistan. Cameos by Mashrafe Mortaza (18) and Mahmudullah (17 not out) at the end were not enough to take the home side over the finish line.

    Aizaz Cheema kept his cool in the final over, giving away six runs when the hosts needed nine for victory. The paceman went for 46 in his 7 overs, but picked up three crucial wickets for his side. Saeed Ajmal and Umar Gul also took two wickets each.

    Earlier, a disciplined Bangladesh restricted Pakistan to a below-par 236 for 9. Abdur Razzak, Shakib and Mortaza shared two wickets each for the home side.

    For Pakistan, wicketkeeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed top-scored with an unbeaten 46. Opener Mohammad Hafeez, too, contributed with 40, but it was more a grind as he took 87 balls to get those runs. Shahid Afridi also played a 32-run cameo.

    Pakistan started off on the wrong foot, losing the wickets of Nasir Jamshed (9) and Younis Khan (1) inside 6 overs. Mohammad Hafeez and Misbah-ul-Haq (13) tried to rescue the sinking ship with a 36-run partnership for the third wicket. But the run out of Misbah gave Bangladesh another opening. Hafeez was playing patiently till he attempted to clear Razzak over mid-on, getting caught by Nazmul Hossain.

    Youngsters Umar Akmal (30) and Hammad Azam (30) strung a 59-run stand but with their departure, in quick succession, Pakistan once again found themselves under the pump. Sarfraz, who was drafted into the side in place of paceman Wahab Riaz, took most of the strike in the latter overs as he stretched Pakistan score well past 200.

    A sloppy final over by Shahadat Hossain produced 19 runs and gave Pakistan a decent total to defend.

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