Bangladesh v Pakistan, Only T20, Mirpur April 24, 2015

Shakib, Sabbir fifties crush Pakistan

Bangladesh 143 for 3 (Shakib 57*, Sabbir 51*) beat Pakistan 141 for 5 (Mukhtar 37, Musafizur 2-20) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Play 01:33
Isam: Bangladesh won it in style

A maiden ODI series win, and whitewash, over Pakistan. And now a maiden T20 triumph against the same team. Bangladesh have dominated the limited-overs leg of this tour, and added to that narrative with a seven-wicket thrashing in Mirpur.

A haphazard batting performance left the onus on the Pakistan bowling again. With only 141 to defend though, all Bangladesh needed was one partnership. That need increased a touch when the score slipped to 38 for 3, but Shakib Al Hasan and Sabbir Rahman steadied ship and shut Pakistan out with a 105-run stand. Both batsmen collected half-centuries and were around for the winning runs to be scored.

Their strokes were crisp and both batsmen imposed themselves on the bowlers despite reputation. Umar Gul's two overs went for 23. Wahab Riaz was clattered for seven fours in four overs and nursed an economy rate near 10. Shakib and Sabbir were together for over 10 overs and the partnership run-rate was 9.84.

"They are in such a great momentum," Shahid Afridi conceded after the match. "We have to learn from the way the Bangladeshi players played"

It wasn't mere generosity either. After Pakistan had decided to bat, the cricket was so ordinary that it appeared the broadcasters had switched from the live feed to a blooper reel. Ahmed Shehzad, beset by rust, spent 10 balls on zero. He went hands first at the ball but could not find it. The defensive bat not working, he decided to hit his way out of trouble. Cue inside and outside edges. Finally, and ironically, the first promising stroke he played led to his downfall. A crisp lift, the elbow high and the head still, ended up in the hands of long-off.

Shehzad, a man who hasn't played for Pakistan in a month was paired with a man playing for Pakistan for the first time. Mukhtar Ahmed appears a power hitter, and despite trying a slog every other ball he walked back with 37 off 30 balls.

Afridi hiked himself up to No. 3, for the first time in T20Is since November 2013, missed two balls, and was judged caught behind when there was daylight between bat and ball. The umpires' two cents to a first hour of cricket that left much to be desired. Afridi even signaled for a review, and was told DRS wasn't being used for the match.

Mushfiqur Rahim evened the scales by missing a straightforward stumping off Mukhtar in the sixth over. There were multiple run-out chances that weren't converted. The saving grace, though, was Bangladesh's new-ball bowlers.

Mustafizur Rahman, a 19-year old left arm seamer, got the ball to jag around quite strikingly and tormented Shehzad - 10 balls faced, only one run scored. Mashrafe Mortaza hit the off-stump corridor. Shakib's darts around leg stump frustrated a set of batsmen, who wanted to cane the ball more than hit the gaps. What would hurt Pakistan was despite their constant slogs, there were 52 dot balls in the innings and only one boundary in the final four overs.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments