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Pakistan to face Bangladesh in first T20I today

Pakistan will play the first Twenty20 International against Bangladesh. Source: FILE. 

DHAKA: Pakistan will take on Bangladesh side at home in the first of the three-match Twenty20 International series today (Friday) in Dhaka.

The match will be held at 1PM PST. The two teams yesterday held a practice session ahead of their first faceoff. The series is the next challenge for the Pakistani team after its impressive show in the recently-concluded T20 World Cup in the UAE.

Pakistan stormed through the Super-12 phase of the ICC’s Twenty20 World Cup with five straight wins before facing a five-wicket defeat in the semi-final at the hands of Australia, who went on to win the T20 World Cup.

Earlier, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced a 12-member team for the first T20I. Skipper Babar Azam will lead the team with Shadab Khan as vice-captain. Pakistan fielded the same line-up in all six World Cup matches and has retained almost the same squad for the Bangladesh series.

From the World Cup squad, Mohammad Hafeez is the only player who opted out of the team, with Iftikhar Ahmed brought on as his replacement. Bangladesh are missing several senior players who have been ruled out due to injury or rested after a disastrous World Cup campaign, and the loss of Shakib Al Hasan, who was ruled out with an injury in the middle of the tournament. 

Bangladesh has a young squad and has dropped the veteran Mushfiqur Rahim and will also be without the services of Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das and Rubel Hossain. Captain Mahmudullah Riyad said his side were looking to start afresh and put the Dubai debacle behind them. “Whatever happened happened. If we think much about it that would affect us negatively. We want to think positive,” he said.

Pakistan will also play two Test matches during their tour. The two teams will play their second and third T20Is at the same venue on 20 and 22 November respectively.

The last time Bangladesh and Pakistan met is T20Is was nearly two years ago in January 2020 when Bangladesh toured Pakistan for a three-match T20I series. Despite the first match getting abandoned, Pakistan won the series 2-0 with strong bowling performances. 

Pakistan squad:

Babar Azam (Captain), Shadab Khan (Vice-Captain), Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Wasim Jr., Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shoaib Malik.

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