For now, Bangladesh will have to wait for their second victory over Pakistan. The only time they had upset their fancied opponents was in a World Cup match in 1999.
Bangladesh had the stage set. A Pakistan batting collapse after a solid start by the openers had left the door ajar for Bangladesh to get into the match. Former skipper Shakib Al Hasan's heroics after Tamim Iqbal had given them a start had the hosts needing 36 runs from six overs with five wickets in hand. Bangladesh batting disintegrated thereafter, denying Shakib the chance to become a bigger star than he already is in this country.
Bangladesh could have repeated history on Sunday, and the Asia Cup couldn't have asked for a better opening match. The way the match shifted momentum, the people who braved the political chaos outside to come to the ground, had their money's worth. But in the end the hosts were 21 runs short.
A match like this could not have been played against a better backdrop. The fate of Bangladesh's three-match ODI tour of Pakistan scheduled for next month is likely to be announced on Monday. The Bangladesh Cricket Board president, Mustafa Kamal, had a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday and among other issues, the tour, awaiting government clearance, was discussed.
Both the Pakistan Cricket Board and the BCB have more or less agreed in principle and the ICC, following its meeting last month, had kept a window open for this tour when it said that under extraordinary circumstances a bilateral series could go on.
"This was tailor-made for us following discussions on this tour," BCB media manager Rabeed Imam told HT. "It's now up to the government to decide."
The PCB is also keeping its fingers crossed. "Once the tour happens, we can tell the world it is safe to play international cricket in Pakistan," Nadeem Sarwar, the PCB media manager said.
Pak 262/8 in 50 overs (Hafeez 89, Jamshed 54, Hossain 3/53). Ban 241 in 48.1 overs (Tamim 64, Shakib 64, Gul 3/58).