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Butt leads Pakistan to series whitewash over Bangladesh

Opener Salman Butt smashed a record-breaking century to help Pakistan beat Bangladesh by 150 runs in the fifth and final day-night international on Saturday for a 5-0 series whitewash.

The left-hander scored a career-best 136 to lift Pakistan to their highest one-day total against Bangladesh of 329-9 in their 50 overs before the tourists succumbed to 179 all out in 40.5 overs.

The 23-year-old opener, who had scores of 33, 76, 132 and 74 in the series, amassed 451 in all. It was the highest ever aggregate in a bilateral five-match one-day series, beating countryman Mohammad Yousuf’s 405 against Zimbabwe in 2002.

Pakistan’s previous highest total against Bangladesh was achieved in the first match of this series in Lahore when they made 322-5.

The victory gave Pakistan their 11th successive one-day win, beating the previous sequence of ten victories achieved between April and November 1990. Australia hold the record of most successive wins, with 21 in 2003.

Bangladesh never looked on course for a consolation win as they were rocked by paceman Mohammad Asif (3-35), who removed opener Junaid Siddique (six), Aftab Ahmed (nought) and Shakib Al Hasan (five) in the space of five balls.

In between, Asif’s pace partner, Umar Gul, had Tamim Iqbal (nine) caught behind by Kamran Akmal to leave Bangladesh reeling at 23-4.

Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful hit four boundaries in his 30 before leg-spinner Shahid Afridi forced an edge that was smartly snapped up by Misbah-ul Haq in the slips. Afridi finished with 3-40.

Mahmudullah top scored with 37, and added 57 for the seventh wicket with Dhiman Ghosh (29) while Abdur Razzak made 33.

Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik praised the team for the winning sequence.

”We have played well in this series and it feels great to achieve the new winning streak, for which the credit goes to the players,” he said.

Ashraful said he hoped his team would learn from the annihilation.

”Congratulations to Pakistan, they overwhelmed us in this series. We have been trying to improve and I hope we learn more from this series,” said the Bangladesh captain.

Earlier Butt, dropped on 57, set the tone for Pakistan’s big total.

He added a record 179 runs for the second wicket with Younis Khan (69) after Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat.

Butt, whose previous highest one-day score of 132 came in the third match in Lahore on Sunday, hit 14 boundaries and a six during his punishing 124-ball knock.

Butt and Younis steadied the innings after Pakistan lost Kamran Akmal for ten. Butt reached his hundred in as many balls, hitting nine fours and a six off spinner Shakib Al Hasan.

Younis, who returned to the squad as one of three changes, miscued a pull off Shahadat Hossain to be caught by a running Farhad Reza at square-leg. Younis hit four boundaries and a six during his 80-ball knock.

His partnership with Butt is a new Pakistan record against Bangladesh, beating the 123-run second-wicket stand between Saeed Anwar and Rameez Raja at Colombo in 1997.

Butt, too, miscued a drive off-spinner Abdul Razzak in the 38th over.

Yousuf fell for 22 and Afridi managed just four.

Shoaib Malik (27) and Misbah (35) added a quickfire 52 for the sixth wicket before Pakistan lost four wickets in the last five overs. Among those debutant Naumanullah scored just five.

Mortaza bowled accurately to finish with 4-65. — Sapa-AFP

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Shahid Hashmi
Guest Author

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