Pakistan open WT20 campaign with convincing win

Mohammad Hafeez
Mohammad Hafeez top scored for Pakistan as they beat Bangladesh.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Pakistan 201-5 (Hafeez 64) beat
Bangladesh 146-6 (Hasan 50no) by 55 runs
14th Match, ICC World T20 2016, Group 2, Kolkata

Pakistan opened their ICC World Twenty20 2016 campaign with a convincing 55-run win over Bangladesh in Group 2 of the Super 10 stage at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Mohammad Hafeez (64) and Ahmed Shehzad (52) made half-centuries and captain Shahid Afridi cracked a whirlwind 49 in 19 balls as Pakistan powered their way to a score of 201 for five batting first.

Their bowlers then stifled Bangladesh's batsmen, and although Shakib Al Hasan made an unbeaten 50 in 40 balls, they closed well short on 146 for six.

Pakistan opted to bat first after winning the toss. Sharjeel Khan (18) struck two sixes and a four in the second to provide an early boost but was castled by Arafat Sunny (2-34) in the third over.

Shehzad, who started well with a boundary in the very first over, carried on to strike two more fours while Hafeez hit a six and two boundaries to push Pakistan to 55 for one at the end of the powerplay.

Hafeez and Shehzad matched each other shot for shot as they added a massive 95-run stand for the second wicket.

Shehzad was the first to bring up his half-century, taking 35 balls to get to the landmark. However, he fell in the next over, holing out to deep midwicket off Sabbir Rahman (1-11).

Afridi (49) wasted no time in getting the big hits away as he plundered Mashrafe Mortaza (0-41) for two fours and a six in the 15th over, by the end of which Pakistan were placed comfortably at 139 for two.

Hafeez also brought up his 36-ball fifty in the same over. He struck three more boundaries before he was caught by Soumya Sarkar, who pulled off a stunning catch at the deep midwicket fence.

Afridi continued to hit the big shots and fell just one run short of his fifty in the final over. With a nine-ball cameo from Shoaib Malik (15 not out), Pakistan scored 201 for five in 20 overs.

Bangladesh got off on the wrong foot as Mohammad Amir (2-27) breached the defences of Sarkar in the very first over.

Rahman got going with a boundary and struck four more before he was bowled off a delivery from Afridi (2-27) in the sixth over. Bangladesh managed to score 45 for two in the powerplay.

After hitting a six in the sixth and the seventh overs, Tamim Iqbal (24) was caught at deep square leg off Afridi in the eighth over.

At the halfway mark, Bangladesh still needed 133 runs with seven wickets in hand. In his very first over, Imad Wasim (1-13) got Mahmudullah (4) to play a slog sweep and had him caught in the deep.

Mushfiqur Rahim (18) and Hasan (50 not out) offered resistance with a 39-run stand but scored barely over a run-a-ball, pushing the required rate to 24.25 by the end of the 16th over.

Amir and Mohammad Irfan (1-30) dismissed Rahim and Mohammad Mithun respectively in successive overs to reduce Bangladesh to 117 for six in the 18th over.

Hasan went past 1000 T20I runs and brought up a stroke-filled fifty as he shared a 29-run unbeaten stand with Mortaza (15 not out).

However, it was not enough as Pakistan restricted Bangladesh to 146 for six in 20 overs to register a 55-run victory. Afridi’s all-round display fetched him the man of the match award.

This win puts Pakistan on top of Group 2 with Bangladesh at the bottom following New Zealand's big win over India in the first match.

© Cricket World 2016