Malik guides Pakistan in low-scoring affair
Pakistan have gone 1-0 up in the three-match series after a five-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the first T20I at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
Bangladesh played their first international match in Pakistan after 12 years. The return to Pakistan’s den leaves them winless in the country.
Tourists Bangladesh opted to bat first on a sluggish track. Openers Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Naim Sheikh made a slow start, adding just 35 runs in the powerplay overs. The 71-run partnership lasted till the 11th over, when Tamim was run out for 34-ball 39 runs.
Tamim’s departure opened the gate for Pakistan as the hosts got hold of Bangladesh for the rest of the innings. Naim was also steady in his knock – 43 off 41 with 3 fours and 2 sixes.
Skipper Mahmudullah Riyad’s unbeaten 19 runs gave Bangladesh something to challenge – 142/5. Pakistan bowlers, led by Shadab Khan and Shaheen Shah Afridi, were economical in their process.
Bangladesh found momentum right in the first over of Pakistan’s chase when Shafiul Islam had opposition captain Babar Azam inside-edged to the keeper for a silver duck.
Experienced Mohammad Hafeez fell to Mustafizur Rahman inside the powerplay. Shoaib Malik held the innings with debutant Ahsan Ali. The duo put on 46 runs for the third-wicket stand.
Ahsan made 36 in his first match in Pakistan colours. In the end, Malik’s resistance was enough for the hosts to get over the line in the last over. The veteran remained unbeaten on 58 runs from 45 deliveries hitting 5 boundaries.
Al-Amin Hossain gave only 18 runs for one wicket in his four-over spell. Shafiul bagged 2 for 27. Mustafizur was expensive as he leaked 40 runs.h
The second T20I is on Saturday at the same venue.
Bangladesh 142/5 in 20 overs (Naim 43, Tamim 39; Shaheen 1/23, Shadab 1/26)
Pakistan 143/5 in 19.3 overs (Malik 58*, Ahsan 36; Shafiul 2/27, Al-Amin 1/18)
Pakistan won by 5 wickets
Man of the Match: Shoaib Malik