It has been proven by Pakistan bowlers once again that they can play well by restricting Bangladesh to 146-6 after top order batsmen came to form at the right time to bag an easy win by 55 runs to kickoff the World Twenty20 campaign on a high here on Wednesday.

Pakistan won the toss to bat first but lost opener Sharjeel Khan (18) cheaply but Hafeez (64) and Shehzad (52) added 95 runs to lay the foundation for a 200-plus total.

Half centuries were made by Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad and skipper Shahid Afridi came up with a breezy cameo to propel their team to 201-5 in a Group 2 super 10 stage match.

Team captain Shahid Afridi (49) 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.

The left arm spinner of the Bangladesh team 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.

This is what Pakistan captain Afridi had to say when he 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.

Their Group Two opponents Bangladesh, who were forced to come through a qualifying round, have been in good form of late and skipper Mashrafe Mortaza admitted he would have preferred to bat first at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens.

It got really hard for the Bangladesh team to stop a barrage of fours and sixes from the Pakistani batsmen.

With seemingly harder games against hosts India, New Zealand and Australia to follow, Pakistan knows they cannot afford to stumble against Bangaldesh – one of the two teams who have come out of the qualifiers to play in the Super-10 round.

At the recent Asia Cup match, Bangladesh knocked Pakistan out of the tournament with a famous win in Dhaka.

Bangladesh (Playing XI): Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim(w), Mahmudullah, Mohammad Mithun, Mashrafe Mortaza(c), Arafat Sunny, Taskin Ahmed, Al-Amin Hossain

Pakistan (Playing XI): Ahmed Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed(w), Shahid Afridi(c), Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Irfan

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Pakistan vs Bangladesh T20 World Cup Afridis 49 from 19 balls Match Report

Courtesy: IANS INDIA