Pakistan was off to a bright start in response to Bangladesh's total of 204. Fakhar Zaman showed relentless form in the first Powerplay. The southpaw smacked several boundaries for Pakistan in this period including four exemplary sixes.
He got good support from his partner, Abdullah Shafique, who garnered four stylish fours of his own in the first 10 overs.
In the first innings, Bangladesh failed to make the most of Shakib Al Hasan's call to bat first in Kolkata at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.
Pakistan was right on the mark courtesy an incisive spell from Shaheen Afridi. He pinned Tanzid Hasan leg before off the fifth ball of the game. The batter reviewed, but it turned out that the ball was clipping the top of his leg stump.
In the very next over, Shaheen had the out-of-form Najmul Hossain Shanto caught at forward square leg. Usama Mir took a sharp catch at the position to give Pakistan their second breakthrough.
Litton Das tried to pick up the pace for Bangladesh with a flurry of boundaries against Haris Rauf. However, it was the pacer who had the last laugh, when he got the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim to nick one behind the wicket.
Mushfiqur was replaced by the in-form veteran Mahmudullah, who ensured that the Tigers didn't get too bogged down by the early damages.
After the first Powerplay, Das and Mahmudullah took charge and hit a stream of boundaries. Their intent was backed by some erratic Pakistan bowling. The duo went at almost six an over between overs 11-20.
Against the run of play, Das gifted his wicket to Iftikhar Ahmed after he chipped one of his deliveries to the mid-wicket fielder.
Bangladesh batted conservatively over the next few overs, as Shakib Al Hasan tried to get in. Just when the batters looked like they were getting set, Mahmudullah (56) was cleaned up by a beauty from Shaheen.
Newcomer Tawhid Hridoy went gung-ho quite early in his innings, hitting a six off his second ball. However, this daredevilry cost him his wicket off the very next ball, as he nicked Usama Mir to the first slip.
Bangladesh finally picked up once more, when Shakib hit a hat-trick of boundaries in the 37th over against Iftikhar Ahmed.
However, any hopes of Bangladesh resurgence ended when Shakib mistimed a pull off Haris Rauf and fell for 43. Bangladesh managed to cross the 200 run mark at the back of a stand between Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Taskin Ahmed, but strikes from Mohammad Wasim soon ended their time at the crease.
Shakib Al Hasan opted to bat first after winning the toss. He believed that the pitch was dry, just the way it was in their last encounter against the Netherlands, and would offer turn. They made one change to the side that fell short against the Dutch – Mahedi Hasan was replaced by Tawhid Hridoy.
Pakistan, on the other hand, went in with three changes. Fakhar Zaman, Salman Agha and Usama Mir were in for Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan.
Bright starts for Pakistan and Bangladesh have all but faded away as both sides barely remain in contention for the knockout stage of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.
Pakistan opened their campaign with convincing victories over Netherlands and Sri Lanka but are now on a four-match losing streak that has left little margin for error in the race for a semi-final berth.
A fifth loss on the trot for the 1992 champions when they face Bangladesh would essentially end their hopes of progressing further even with two matches still to play, though a win here would boost Pakistan's hopes of a late surge through the tournament.
Bangladesh are in an even more precarious position as they sit just above the last spot in the standings with only two points from a win over Afghanistan in their tournament opener.
While form might be lacking after five consecutive defeats, Shakib Al Hasan's outfit can turn to Bangladesh's first-ever ODI victory over Pakistan for inspiration, when they won their clash at the Cricket World Cup in 1999 by 62 runs.
That was one of only five victories that Bangladesh have secured in 38 ODIs against Pakistan who have all but dominated their encounters.
The most recent match-up in the format came in the Super Four stage of the recent Asia Cup when Pakistan strengthened their hold on the head-to-head record with a seven-wicket win.