Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Pakistan hold nerve to go 1-0 up. Pakistan got over the line in the final over
Pakistan got over the line in the final over
Fakhar Zaman and Khushdil Shah's helped Pakistan make a strong comeback to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series with a four-wicket win over Bangladesh in the opener in Mirpur on Friday. Having restricted the hosts to 127, courtesy Hasan Ali's 3 for 22, Pakistan slipped to 24 for 4 by the end of the powerplay. However, the fifth-wicket pair resurrected the chase with a half-century stand before fireworks from Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz helped Pakistan over the line with four balls and as many wickets to spare.
Opting to bat first, Bangladesh suffered early setbacks with Hasan getting rid of Mohammad Naim off his first ball of the tour, before Mohammad Wasim Jr took out both Saif Hasan and Nnajmul Hossain Shanto in his succeeding overs. Afif Hossain's stroke-filled 36, comprising two sixes and as many boundaries, took Bangladesh past the 50-run mark but wickets at regular intervals never allowed them the momentum.
When Bangladesh did seem to be in a position to go big at death, Hasan returned into the attack to end wicketkeeper-bat Nurul Hasan's cameo on 28 before bagging his third in Aminul Islam. Mahedi Hasan, however, slammed two big hits in a costly final over – his cheeky cameo of 30 not out helping Bangladesh to 26 runs in the last 12 deliveries.
Pakistan's cautious start was dented early by Mustafizur Rahman, who sent back the in-form Mohammad Rizwan on just 11. Taskin Ahmed then bowled skipper Babar Azam in the following over. The visitors slipped a tad further when Haider Ali and Shoaib Malik both bagged ducks to leave their side reeling on 24 for 4 at the end of the powerplay.
However, Khushdil and Zaman combined for a 56-run partnership that put Pakistan's chase back on track. At 40 for 4 at the halfway mark, Bangladesh still seemed ahead but the pair caught up to make an even 34 each, off 35 and 36 balls respectively, to keep their side in the hunt.
Taskin broke the steady partnership two balls into the 15th over, for his second wicket of the game, and Shoriful Islam had Khushdil nicking behind shortly afterward, reigniting Bangladesh's hopes once again. However, Shadab and Nawaz displayed their power-hitting prowess once again in a brisk partnership off 36 off just 15 deliveries. The two big overs – 18th and 19th – swung the momentum back in Pakistan's favour with Shadab wrapping it up in style with a slog-sweep for six to put his side 1-0-ahead.
Brief scores: Bangladesh 127/7 in 20 overs (Afif Hossain 36, Mahedi Hasan 30*; Hasan Ali 3-22, Mohammad Wasim Jr 2-24) lost to Pakistan 132/6 in 19.2 overs (Fakahr Zaman 34, Khushdil shah 34; Taskin Ahmed 2-31) by 4 wickets