Pakistan began their title defence in imposing fashion and a lot of the credit must go to Salman Butt's fine innings, and his opening stand with Kamran Akmal. Butt, a surprise selection, put on 142 with Akmal and ensured Shahid Afridi's decision to bat was not wasted.
In the past, Butt has appeared ill-suited to the format, unable to work gaps and not blessed with the power game that gets poorer batsmen more runs. But he has a good ODI record and the intent was there from the start, as he lofted his very first ball over extra cover.
From then on, at regular intervals he would dance down, move away, find gaps or go aerial. Where Akmal huffed and puffed and threw himself into strokes, Butt went about as quietly as you can in reaching fifty off 29 balls. There was no violence, just clear-headed intent and faith in his regular strokes.
His improved leg-side game was on display as well; in three successive overs after the 10th, he swept Shakib Al Hasan, slog-swept Razzak and slapped debutante Suhrawadi Shuvo over long on for sixes. A couple of improvised legside flicks hinted he may be learning new tricks and his second T20I fifty was an unexpected bonus. All kinds of landmarks came up in that period - including Pakistan's hundred and Akmal's fifty - but Butt's classy innings stole the show.