Pakistan 190-5 (Ahmed Shehzad 111no) beat
Bangladesh 140-7 (Umar Gul 3-30)by 50 runs
ICC World Twenty20 2014 Group Two, Mirpur
2009 champions Pakistan delivered a double knockout blow as their 50-run victory over Bangladesh meant that both the hosts and contenders Australia are out of the ICC World Twenty20.
At the Shere Bangla Stadium in Mirpur, Ahmed Shehzad’s maiden T20I hundred set the game up for Pakistan in a must-win situation, as they posted 190 for five in their allotted 20 overs.
Then, their bowlers assured them of further challenges in this tournament, restricting Bangladesh to 140 for seven in reply.
Chasing a hefty 191, Bangladesh started well with their openers putting on 30 runs in four overs, but then disaster struck as it does always for their batting order. Tamim Iqbal (16) and Anamul Haque (18) fell within six runs of each other, and then Shamsur Rahman (4) was dismissed by Shahid Afridi (1-21) to leave them struggling again at 44 for three. Three runs later, Zulfiqar Babar (1-24) made it four down as skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (2) too went cheaply.
Shakib Al Hasan then came out firing and played some blazing strokes to entertain the disappointed home crowd. He roused them with two fours and two tall sixes, scoring 38 runs off 32 balls. He added 44 runs with Nasir Hossain, who scored 23 runs off 19 balls, with one four and one six.
After Shakib got out in the 15th over though, the scoring rate again slowed down and then it was just a matter of how soon the game will end. Umar Gul finally came to the party with three for 30 while Saeed Ajmal returned two for 20.
Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first in this must-win game. The big thing for them was to get off to a rollicking start and Shehzad did just that as he cut open with boundaries all over.
The opening pairing were scoring at ten runs per over when Kamran Akmal (9) was out against the run of play.
The next two batsmen also didn’t score too many runs, with skipper Mohammad Hafeez (8) continuing to have a poor tournament and the hero from their last match, Umar Akmal (0) also falling cheaply.
It goes to show then just how dominating Shehzad was as the scoring rate didn’t fall. Moreover, he added 27 runs for the second wicket too, despite minimal contribution from the other batsmen. In doing so, he reached his half-century off only 30 balls, with five fours and two sixes, while bringing up the team’s fifty in the sixth over.
He finally did find some support from Shoaib Malik, who scored 26 runs off 23 balls, with two fours, and put up 83 runs for the fourth wicket with Shehzad.
The 100-run mark came in the 13th over, while the total crossed the 150-run barrier in the 17th over as Pakistan reached for a tall total. The opening batsman then reached his maiden T20I hundred off 58 balls, with nine fours and four sixes.
He also became the first Pakistan batsman to achieve this feat in the shortest format of the game, finishing unbeaten on 111 runs off 62 balls, hitting 10 fours and five sixes in total. At the other end, Shahid Afridi lit up the stadium with just 22 runs off nine balls, with one fours and two sixes, as the batsmen virtually assured their team of continued contention in the tournament.
The Bangladesh bowlers were very expensive, but Abdur Razzak was their best bowler, with two for 20 from four overs. Mahmudullah (1-24), Shakib (1-21) and Al-Amin Hossain (1-37) were the other wicket takers.
Pakistan now take on West Indies in the second match of the day on Tuesday, a game that is a virtual quarter-final.
© Cricket World 2014