Catches win you matches, is probably the most heard proverb in the game of cricket. Everyone knows the importance of catches and how crucial it could be in turning the match on its head.
And a latest testament to that fact is Bangladeshi skipper Mashrafe Mortaza, who pulled off what is arguably one of the best catches of the tournament. The victim of this superb fielding by Mashrafe Mortaza, was in-form Pakistani batsmen, Shoaib Mailk, who has proved to be a thorn in opposition bowling attacks.
The catch turned out to be the tuning point of the match as it helped Bangladesh edge Pakistan by 37 runs and book a final date with India at the 2018 Asia cup.
The Bangladeshi top-order crumbled miserably after opting to bat first. However, their middle order came to the rescue and did well to post a respectable target of 239 runs on the board.
Though, just like Bangladesh, Pakistan's chase got off to a disastrous start as they were reduced to 18 for three in 3.3 overs. Bangla Tigers bowling attack was up to the challenge as they did well to remove Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam and Sarfraz Ahmed early on, but as usual storyline of every Pakistani innings has been so far, Imam-ul-Haq and Shoaib stuck around to keep their team in the game.
The duo were looking set to build a strong partnership and take their team all the way, until Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza took a blinder of a catch at midwicket to remove Malik off Rubel Hossain's bowling in the 21st over. Mortaza dived at full length to his left to latch on to a screamer as Malik went for a chip over midwicket.
That was the trigger that Bangladesh needed as Bangladesh bowled and fielded brilliantly inside the circle to frustrate the Pakistani batsmen. But Imam did not give up the fight and stitched two crucial partnerships with Shoaib Malik (30) and Asif Ali (31) to keep Pakistan in the hunt. Imam first stitched 67 runs for the fourth wicket with Malik and then shared a crucial 71-run partnership with Ali to keep Pakistan's hopes alive.
But the day belonged to Bangladesh as they never gave up hope and fought tooth and nail to stay one step ahead of Pakistan in the match. However, Imam and Ali raised some visions of a victory with their 71-run stand but both the batsmen's dismissal in quick succession derailed Pakistan's chase.
(With PTI inputs)