Dhaka: Pakistan cruised to a 50-run victory over Bangladesh in their one-off Twenty20. Mohammad Hafeez was named man of the match after scoring a quick-fire 25 and picking up figures of 2-11 from four overs with the ball.
Hafeez and Imran Farhat put on 30 for the first wicket after the Pakistanis elected to bat first in Dhaka, before the latter was caught behind off Bangladeshi orthodox spinner Shakib Al Hasan (2-24).
Asad Shafiq (19) came in and added another 31 for the second wicket, before Hafeez was bowled by Al Hasan.
Pakistan’s middle-order chipped in to boost their total, with Umar Akmal (20) and Misbah-ul-Haq (21) providing handy contributions to help the visitors finish on 7-135.
Bangladesh’s chase barely gathered steam, as they slumped to 5-23 in the ninth over.
Their top four batsmen – Naeem Islam, Imrul Kayes, Alok Kapali and Al Hasan – combined for just 12 runs as Pakistan took a stranglehold on the match.
Hafeez claimed the scalps of Kapali and Al Hasan, while also having a hand in running out Kayes.
Nasir Hossain, the number seven bat, salvaged some respectability for his side by striking 35 from 38 deliveries, helping Bangladesh reach 85-9 through 20 overs.
Mushfiqur Rahim (10) was the only other batsman in double figures, with the extras (11) the second-highest total on their scorecard.
Bangladesh and Pakistan will begin their three-match ODI series at Dhaka on Thursday, before contesting a two-Test series.
Result: Pakistan won by 50 runs.
Man Of The Match: Mohammad Hafeez (Pakistan).
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Comments by both captains & man of the match:
Misbah-ul-Haq (Captain of Pakistan): ”We’re really doing well, it’s a good time for the team. It’s good to have this kind of a team, and we’re enjoying the experience. The way everyone’s responding, with the bat and ball, everyone’s performing. I had a look at the wicket, I thought 150 might be a good score but as it turned out, 130-plus was a good score. The openers started well, and the guys batted well in the middle overs. We lost two or three quick wickets, though. It was a tough wicket to bat on. When the tracks are good, we can really make out what the other team is like. The Bangladesh crowds support everybody, and support good cricket and we’re happy to be playing here.”
Mushfiqur Rahim (Captain of Bangladesh): ”It was a tough wicket to bat on. Pakistan are playing very consistent cricket and it’ll be tough to beat them, but if are boys are up for it, we should be able to do it. It will be very difficult to beat them on pitches like these, they are one of the best sides at the moment. Nasir Hossain played very well.”
Mohammad Hafeez (Man Of The Match): ”Thanks to Almighty Allah. In every second game, some guys come up and give some match-winning performances. The management and captain have given me the confidence by giving me the new ball. The ball wasn’t coming on to the bat and we had to take singles and rotate the strike. We put them under pressure and got the result we wanted.”