Pakistan’s spin quartet capitalized on an unexpected power failure to beat Bangladesh by 58 runs in the third one-day international (ODI) to complete a 3-0 series victory on Tuesday.
After restricting Pakistan to a below-par 177 runs, Bangladesh appeared to be coasting toward victory as they reached 61-1 when suddenly the floodlights went out at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
That unexpected 15-minute break extinguished Bangladesh’s hopes of avoiding a series whitewash, as upon resumption they lost their last nine wickets for just 50 runs and were all out for 119.
“The momentum was with Bangladesh at that time … the blackout broke the momentum and we reaped the benefit,” Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said.
“We got time to think about our bowling during the break and came back strongly,” he added.
Off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez led Pakistan’s spin attack with 3-27, while former captain Shoaib Malik, playing his 200th ODI, cleaned up the tail with three wickets for only six runs.
Hafeez bowled opener Tamim Iqbal with the first ball of the innings, but Shahriar Nafees and Mohammad Mahmudullah frustrated the visitors with their patient knocks to put on 69 runs for the second wicket.
Just when it seemed that Bangladesh may finally earn a long-overdue victory against Pakistan, Misbah’s men fought back by grabbing five wickets for just 14 runs.
Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal trap-ped Nafees (25) LBW, Mushfiqur Rahim was sent back without scoring by left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman, while Hafeez removed Mahmudullah (35) and Shakib Al Hasan (9).
Nasir Hossain’s innings lasted just eight balls as he became Rehman’s second victim of the day and his exit left Bangladesh reeling on 83 for six.
Alok Kapali and Farhad Reza revived their hopes with a 34-run stand, before a dubious umpiring decision ended it all for the home side.
A confident-looking Reza was given out LBW off Ajmal for 21, but TV replays suggested the ball took an inside-edge before hitting his pad.
Ajmal finished with two wickets for six runs as Bangladesh lost their last four wickets for two runs.
Earlier, a 94-run fourth wicket stand between Misbah and Umar Akmal provided the backbone in the Pakistan innings, as Bangladesh spinners also had some success on the slow Chittagong pitch.
Akmal made his second half-century of the series before he was stumped by Mushfiqur Rahim off Elias Sunny for 57 off 84 balls.
Misbah chipped in with 47 before falling to left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, who finished with 3-21.
Off-spinner Mahmudullah claim-ed a career-best 3-4, bowling only seven deliveries, to wrap up the Pakistan innings.