DHAKA: Hasan Ali’s superb bowling followed by Shadab Khan, Khushdil Shah and Muhammad Nawaz’s late blitz helped Pakistan beat Bangladesh by four wickets in the first of the three T20 Internationals in Dhaka on Friday.
Chasing a moderate target of 128, Khushdil Shah smashed 34 off 35 balls, with three fours and a six, Shadab Khan managed to score 21 off 10 balls, with four and two sixes, while Nawaz scored 18 off eight balls also hitting a four and two sixes.
It was the sort of target Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam tend to knock off with ease, but on these surfaces in front of a raucous home crowd, Bangladesh wasn’t going to let go easily.
Mustafizur Rahman found movement with the new ball and castled Rizwan with a beauty early, while an off-colour Babar chopped on to Taskin Ahmed. Haider Ali and Shoaib Malik, too, fell cheaply to put Bangladesh on top.
So it was left to Fakhar Zaman and Khushdil Shah to grind their way to keep Pakistan in touch with the asking rate, and for Shadab and Mohammad Nawaz to provide the fireworks at the end.
Hassan takes three
Earlier, pacer Hassan Ali took three wickets as Pakistan restricted Bangladesh to 127 runs. Mohammad Wasim Jr bagged two wickets while spinners Nawaz and Shadab claimed one victim each.
Hassan, who came under fire for underperforming at the T20 World Cup, struck as early as in the second over to dismiss opener Mohammad Naim after Pakistan were asked to field first.
The right-arm pacer took his second and third wickets in the death overs when he sent back Nurul Hassan and Aminul Islam in the 16th and 18th overs.
The hosts lost their second wicket when Naim’s opening partner Saif Hassan was deceived by a well-pitched outswinger by Wasim Jr. He took the third wicket as well as he took a sharp catch off his own bowling to dismiss Najmul Hossain Shanto.
Nawaz, also bagged the crucial wicket of Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah. Shadab struck in the 13th over when left-hander Afif Hossain found himself out of the crease after missing a well directed googly to be eventually stumped by Rizwan.
Later, before Hassan restricted them, Nurul and Mahedi Hassan’s launched an onslaught deep into the innings to smash 28 off 22 and 30 off 20 respectively to take Bangladesh to 127.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Shoaib Malik, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jr
Bangladesh: Mohammad Naim, Saif Hassan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mahmudullah (capt), Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan (wk), Shoriful Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Aminul Islam, Mahedi Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman