Pakistan overcome batting issues to beat Bangladesh in first T20 – Sport

Pakistan recovered from a first-rate meltdown to beat Bangladesh by four wickets in the Twenty20 international opener of their three-game series in Dhaka on Friday.

The visitors limited Bangladesh to a measly 127-7 as the hosts won the draw and opted to strike first at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

Quick pitcher Hasan Ali netted 3-22 and middle right-arm point guard Mohammad Wasim Jr 2-24 for the visitors as Afif Hossain scored the best goal with 36 of 34 for Bangladesh.

But the tempting target looked increasingly difficult as Pakistan slumped to 24-4 in the pursuit. Mustafizur Rahman beat Mohammad Rizwan for 11 and Taskin Ahmed knocked out Babar Azam for seven as Bangladesh put pressure on Pakistan early in their innings.

Haider Ali and Shoaib Malik both opted for ducks, with the former plumb forward and wicket keeper Nurul Hasan showing presence of mind to wear the latter down.

Read more: Pakistan look to maintain World Cup momentum with Bangladesh T20s

Malik was walking outside his crease after conceding a points ball when Hasan returned it to the stumps, and reruns showed the campaign veteran was late to crush his bat.

But Fakhar Zaman and Khushdil Shah got them back on track with a stand of 56 for the fifth wicket, both racking up hits from 34 runs.

When Shah fell Pakistan still needed 32 points from 3.1 overs, but Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz saw them at home with strong punches late in the inning.

It was Khan who hit the six winners to bring them to 132-6 with four balls to go, leaving him undefeated on 21 points on 10 balls.

“Credit to the order of the middle, the way they have shown the skills. Fakhar, Khushdil, the way Nawaz ended, ”Pakistani captain Babar Azam said.

Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah Riyadh was optimistic about his choice to strike first.

“When we chose to beat it looked like a good wicket. But there was also help for the bowlers. It’s not an excuse, ”he said.

The second game of the series will take place on the same pitch on Saturday.

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