Bangladesh v Pakistan, World T20 2016, Group 2, Kolkata March 16, 2016

Batsmen fire Pakistan to 55-run victory


Pakistan 201 for 5 (Hafeez 64, Shehzad 52, Afridi 49) beat Bangladesh 146 for 6 (Shakib 50*, Amir 2-27, Afridi 2-27) by 55 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Chappell: Afridi looked relaxed when he came to bat

Pakistan's batting line-up, which had misfired frequently in recent matches, finally came together in their first match of the World T20 2016 to overpower Bangladesh by 55 runs. Fifties from Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez, and Shahid Afridi's 19-ball 49 propelled Pakistan to 201 for 5, a total which proved too steep for a side that had beaten them in their last two T20I encounters. This was only the second time Pakistan scored more than 200 in a T20 international, and the previous instance - in April 2008 - was also against Bangladesh.

Pakistan opted to bat first and, right from the start, kept their foot on the gas. They took 18 runs in three separate overs and failed to hit a four or a six in only two overs in their innings - the 9th and 14th - bowled by Shakib Al Hasan and Sabbir Rahman. Pakistan's opening pair of Shehzad and Sharjeel Khan was the fourth the side have tried out in T20Is this year, and Sharjeel set the tone, smashing two sixes and a four off Al-Amin Hossain in the second over.

Sharjeel fell in the next over to Arafat Sunny but Hafeez walked in and found his groove immediately, with a straight six down the ground off his second ball. Shehzad, who had struck a serene cover drive off Taskin Ahmed in the first over, then pushed the same bowler through midwicket, before pasting Sunny over extra-cover. His first three fours were pleasing shots, even as Hafeez blasted boundaries down the ground.

By the end of the Powerplay, Hafeez and Shehzad had similar scores before the latter pulled away and raced to his fifty off 35 balls. Shehzad fell in the 14th over, pulling Sabbir to the deep midwicket fielder for 52 off 39 balls with eight fours. His wicket ended a 95-run, second-wicket partnership that, through a combination of big hits and clever strike rotation, did not let the Bangladesh fielders relax.

Afridi promoted himself to No 4 to take advantage of the start. After Hafeez had reached his fifty in the 15th over, bowled by Mashrafe Mortaza, Afridi smacked two fours and a six off consecutive balls to produce an 18-run over. The pair took another 18 runs off Al-Amin's next over, with Hafeez striking two fours and Afridi a straight six.

Hafeez fell for 64 off 42 balls, immediately after striking his seventh four. He was caught brilliantly by Soumya Sarkar at the deep midwicket boundary. The fielder grabbed the ball close to the boundary rope; the momentum took him over the line so he lobbed the ball in the air, came back on to the field and completed the catch. The agile effort was the only solace for Bangladesh in the first innings.

Afridi unfurled the big shots in the overs that followed, including a four and a six off Shakib in the penultimate over. He went into the last over on 49 off 18 balls, on the brink of the record for the fastest fifty by a Pakistan batsman in T20Is, but he holed out to the deep square leg fielder and, in the process, also missed his first T20I half-century since June 2012.

Sarkar's joy from that smart catch was short-lived as Mohammad Amir uprooted his off stump on the third ball of their chase. Sabbir Rahman, who started off with a sweetly timed four past point, made sure, however, that Bangladesh didn't fall off quickly. He struck fours off Amir and Wahab Riaz through the off side, but fell in the final Powerplay over, bowled by an Afridi delivery that came on with the arm.

Tamim had sent the first ball of that Afridi over for a six into the stands beyond midwicket and in the next over, he lifted Malik over extra-cover for another six. His third attempt at clearing the boundary, however, ended up as a simple catch to Imad Wasim at midwicket. Tamim has been Bangladesh's best batsman in the tournament so far and his dismissal for a 20-ball 24 snuffed out most of Bangladesh's hopes of chasing 202.

Bangladesh have never made more than 87 runs in the last ten overs of a successful T20I chase, so getting 133 today was well beyond their reach. The pressure of an asking rate of over 13 got to Mahmudullah, who played a slog-sweep to Sharjeel at deep square leg in the 11th over, and Bangladesh slid further.

Shakib was still at the crease but from a position of 71 for 4, he had to tackle the Pakistan attack as well as Mushfiqur Rahim's frustrating batting at the other end. Between the 11th and 17th overs, Mushfiqur played and missed plenty of times. In two separate overs, Shakib struck a four off the first ball but Mushfiqur couldn't score off the remaining deliveries. Mushfiqur also did not turn as much of the strike over to Shakib and the required run rate soared out of their reach. Mushfiqur became Amir's second wicket in the 17th over.

Shakib had been dropped by Shehzad at midwicket on 33 and he went on to reach his sixth T20I fifty in the last over.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Atul on March 19, 2016, 18:46 GMT

    Time to bring back Manish pandey. could be one of the best batsmen around if he gets enough chances as other cricketers.I remember his 100 in australia where India managed its only win in the oneday series

  • Shabbir on March 19, 2016, 13:36 GMT

    Well the irony both India lost their first match. Australia lost their first match. Both teams need to win all remaining games to get through. Bangladesh are in the same group. The chances of Bangladesh beating either of these teams was small but now it's got even smaller .... With the Taskin and Sunny suspensions. Given the chances of a washout of the IND v PAK match either AUS or IND will be booted out of the tournament. Both won't go through.

  • nathaniel on March 19, 2016, 0:32 GMT

    @ KANAD_BOSTON , ofcourse the probability is slim as india is a big team with very experienced players while Bd is not a big team with mostly new very young inexperienced players. However, I personally feel upset makes any wc muchmore interesting and in my opinion the best candidate outside the top-8 having potential to cause upset is Bd. Their quality now is neither big team nor minnow they stand somewhere in between , they are a dangerous side you never know.

  • Protap on March 18, 2016, 14:58 GMT

    @AIN_EL_SABET : The probability of repetition of what happened continually between 2007 and 2014 and before 2007 over many years is much much higher than what happened once in 2007 and once in 2014. Any way, winning a lottery is always a fun.

  • nathaniel on March 18, 2016, 14:30 GMT

    The bottom line is neither pak nor Bd will get pass this group stage to make it into semi-final , so it doesnt really matter people talking so much of these two teams. However, It would be fun though if Bd can knock out india again just like they did in 2007 wc and 2014 asia cup.

  • Sharad on March 18, 2016, 12:58 GMT

    India vs Pakistan match is all imp match and winner in this match has a very good chance of winning WC 2016 as well. If pakistan win toss they should bat second because there is dew factor in Kolkata. Pakistan shud make use of early bounce & swing and get indian batsman in trouble. Pakistan shud play Aamir, Irfan, Wahab as three medium pacers and Imad wasim, Shoaib malik and Shahid Afridi as three spinners.Anyway pakistan is going to bat second because i think Dhoni will bat first if he wins the toss and afridi will bat second if he wins it.Afridi shud play same team but should open withSarfraz and Shehzad. He shud once again come at No 4 and keep Shoaib Malik for later as it gives batting depth. Also, Sharjeel can come at no 7 and imad wasim at no 8 for pakistan. As far as india goes India will have to win anyway to keep their hopes alive.

  • Shabbir on March 18, 2016, 12:51 GMT

    @ BDMANIA ON MARCH 18, 2016, 12:16 GMT: that's a lovely passionate nickname you have there. It matches with your bombastic and exuberant comments. However we need to be careful or someone would think your not a true BD fan but rather a keyboard warrior looking to garner anger towards the BAN team ... I'm sure you wouldn't want that .... ;0)

  • BD on March 18, 2016, 12:16 GMT

    Pak was just lucky as once in blue moon afridi played a fluke innings. Otherwise we would have won. Tigers all the way. We will win the world cup. Mark my words !!!

  • Protap on March 18, 2016, 10:30 GMT

    @SMUKHLES: I agree with you. However, I have some addition thoughts: PAK will become the champion and BD will keep giving the nose dive. After all this is T20.

  • Sayed on March 18, 2016, 8:12 GMT

    atleast the batsmen have got some confidence and they will be playing on the same pitch. INDO_PAK clash is more about nerves if pakistan can keep the nerves like they did their cool with bangla it will be an exciting contest.

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