Pakistan Blast Past Bangladesh Winning by 55
KOLKATA: Pakistan kickoff their World Twenty20 campaign on a high with bowlers proving their mettle by restricting Bangladesh to 146-6 on Wednesday, after top order batsmen returned to form at the right time to bag an easy win.
Shahid Afridi led by example as his team put a tumultuous build-up behind them to launch their bid for a second World Twenty20 title with a 55-run victory against qualifiers Bangladesh.
Pakistan posted a strong 201-5 at Kolkata´s Eden Gardens after opting to bat first and restricted their opponents to 146-6 in a lopsided Group Two contest.
Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi, after playing a breezy cameo of 49 off just 19 balls, and pacer Mohammad Amir grabbed two wickets giving away only 27 runs each. Irfan and Imad Wasim also took one wicket apiece.
Shakib Al Hasan remained unbeaten on 50 off 40 deliveries. Tamim Iqbal 24 and Sabbir Rahman 25 were other notable contributors for Bangladesh.
Opting to bat first, Pakistan lost opener Sharjeel Khan (18) cheaply but Hafeez (64) and Shehzad (52) added 95 runs to lay the foundation to propel their team to 201-5.
Afridi promoted himself up the batting order to number four and clobbered four sixes in his blistering 19-ball innings before falling in the final over only one short of the half-century that could have been his first in four years. He bagged 'man of the match' award for his all-round performance.
“My performance always plays a key role (for the team) and I was very hungry to perform,” the all-rounder said after collecting his man-of-the-match award.
“It’s a big event and I thought I should take responsibility as a captain, as a senior player. I have to set an example for them,” Afridi said.
“I love to give chance to my batsmen but sometimes you need some extra efforts (from captain) in these type of events.”
Bangladesh´s left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny, who was reported for a suspect bowling action earlier in the tournament, claimed 2-34 but it was otherwise a forgettable outing for their bowling attack.
Earlier, Pakistan captain Afridi won the toss and opted to bat first. "We are struggling with our batting, so we are going with six genuine batsmen and two all-rounders," Afridi had said at the toss.
Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed†, Shahid Afridi*,Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Irfan
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim†, Mashrafe Mortaza*, Mohammad Mithun, Al-Amin Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Taskin Ahmed
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