After already clinching the win in their three-match ODI series, the Bangladesh cricket team demolished a crumbling Pakistan side in the Third One Day International Wednesday in Dhaka to leave no doubt that they are now a significant cricket power on the subcontinent — and perhaps the world.
Behind a maiden century from 22-year-old Soumya Sarkar, Bangladesh rampaged past the touring Pakistan team with an eight wicket victory — leaving 10 overs in hand — to complete a whitewash in the ODI portion of the tour.
The teams now move on to a single T20 International on Friday, before finishing with two test matches that will give the clearest reading yet of where the two cricket nations now stand in relation to each other.
The series sweep was not only the first Bangladesh sweep of Pakistan, a team they had beaten just once in 47 matches before the three ODI victories, it marked the first time Bangladesh had swept any Asian Test nation — a huge step forward coming less than a month after Bangladesh advanced to the quarterfinals of the ICC Cricket World Cup for the first time.
"It is the best achievement in our history," said Bangladesh Captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza said. "It was a perfect series for us in which everything went in the right direction. Everybody played their role perfectly. Soumya was brilliant today but our work is not done yet. We will now focus on the remaining matches."Pakistan was playing with only four members of the team that got to the World Cup quarterfinals, and new Captain Azhar Ali — who on Wednesday became the first Pakistan captain in five years to post a century in one-day play, albeit in a losing cause — said that his team is going through a rebuilding phase.
"I would like to congratulate Bangladesh because they played very good cricket," Azhar said. "We played well in patches but we could not put it together. As everybody knows, our senior players have left the one-day scene. The youngsters have to stand up and we have to pull our heads together. Hopefully we do well in the Twenty20 and the Test series."
The lone T20 International cricket match of the Pakistan tour of Bangladesh takes place Friday, but will see the hosts make a couple of changes.
Two uncapped youngsters will join the side for that match — batsman Litton Das and left-arm quick Mustafizer Rahman, replacing Mominul Haque and Rubel Hossain, who are being rested ahead of the two-Test series between Pakistan and Bangladesh.
[Image: International Cricket Council]