| Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul Haq sweeps en route to his unbeaten 56 against Bangladesh in Multan on Tuesday. (AFP)
Multan: Yasir Hameed blazed his maiden one-day International century on Tuesday as Pakistan routed Bangladesh by 137 runs in the opening game of the five-match series.
Bangladesh were out of reckoning once Pakistan posted 323 for three in front of 25,000-odd spectators at the Multan Cricket Stadium. In reply, Bangladesh could muster only 186 before being dismissed in 43.2 overs. Pakistan’s total was three runs better than their previous best of 320 for three against Bangladesh at Dhaka last year.
The game was over when Bangladesh lost half the side by the 13th over for only 52 runs. Seamer Shabbir Ahmed and Umer Gul sent back Mohammed Ashraful and Tushar Imran without scoring while the ominous Habibul Bashar ran himself out for six.
Abdul Razzaq then claimed two wickets in an over. He bowled debutante Rajin Saleh (25) and, two balls later, captain Inzamam-ul-Haq neatly caught his Bangladeshi counterpart Khaled Mahmud low down in the slips.
Razzaq finished with three for 32 while part-time off-spinner Mohammed Hafeez had as many scalps for 17 runs. Debutante 19-year-old medium fast bowler Junaid Zia, son of Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Lt Gen. Tauqir Zia, went wicketless and conceded 35 runs off his seven overs. He bowled the most expensive over of the innings — 10 runs — when top scorer Mushfiqur Rehman (36n.o.) hit two boundaries off him.
Rehman and Mohammed Rafique delayed the inevitable when they put on the innings’ best partnership — 66 for the last wicket — before Hafeez bowled Rafique and ended the visitors’ misery.
Earlier, 25-year-old Hameed’s belligerent 116 off 132 balls was followed by brisk half-centuries from Inzamam and Younis Khan as they put on 112 runs in the last 11 overs. Younis belted three sixes and four boundaries and remained unbeaten on 59 off 31 balls, while Inzamam completed 9,000 ODI runs and was not out on 56 off 48 balls.
Inzamam’s 65th half century in 291 ODIs was one better than Sri Lanka’s Aravinda de Silva, who retired after playing in 307.
Hameed, who made a sensational Test debut against Bangladesh last month with centuries in each innings at Karachi, delighted a capacity crowd with his aggressive batting after being elevated from No. 3 to open the innings.
After Inzamam elected to bat, Hameed and Mohammed Hafeez scored at faster than a run-a-ball before Hafeez (27) was run out in the 10th over with the total at 62.
Bangladesh had to wait until 34th over for their next success as Yousuf Youhana and Hameed put up 120 runs in 135 balls.
Hameed raised his 50 off 81 balls with seven boundaries before another mix-up denied Youhana his half-century.
Pace bowler Mashrafe bin Murtaza ran off his follow through and broke the stumps at the non-striker’s end as Youhana attempted a quick single and slipped midway through the wicket after scoring 49 off 66 balls.
Hameed lifted his scoring rate and needed just 41 more deliveries to reach triple figures before he was caught by Saleh off leg-spinner Alok Kapali in the 39th over.
Inzamam had a life on 21 when Kapali couldn’t hold on to a hard chance at covers.
But both batsmen cut lose — especially in the last three overs — which yield 54 runs.