Pakistan recovered from a precarious 24-4 to beat Bangladesh by four wickets on Friday in the first of their three Twenty20s.
The match was in the balance with three overs to go, then Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz hit two sixes each and Pakistan reached 132-6 in 19.2 overs, knocking off Bangladesh’s 127-7.
Fakhar Zaman and Khushdil Shah launched Pakistan’s recovery with a 56-run partnership for the fifth wicket. They scored 34 each, removed in quick succession when Fakhar chased a wide delivery of fast bowler Taskin Ahmed to edge to wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan, and Khushdil was undone by a slower ball outside off by pacer Shoriful Islam.
With the visitors needing 32 runs in the last three overs, Shadab and Nawaz pulled off a blitz to break Bangladesh’s stranglehold.
“We played like a unit,” Pakistan fast bowler Hasan Ali said. “Khushdil Shah and Mohammad Nawaz got the opportunity today and both delivered.”
Nawaz was unbeaten on 18 off 8 and Shadab struck an unbeaten 21 off 10, hitting the winning six by slog-sweeping legspinner Aminul Islam over deep midwicket.
Aminul, one of the home team’s specialist bowlers, came to bowl only in the last over when Pakistan needed two runs for the victory.
“Since two left-hand batsmen were batting, we didn’t bring our leggie but it would have been better to get 140,” Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah said.
Pakistan made a cautious start on the slow pitch before Mohammad Rizwan’s stumps were rattled on 11 by fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman. Captain Babar Azam dragged one on to his stumps on 7, but Bangladesh failed to keep up that pressure to the end.
The damage was ultimately done when it was restricted to 127-7, continuing a poor batting record that haunted Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup. The team has lost six straight T20s.
Pakistan pacers Hasan Ali, with 3-22, and Mohammad Wasim, 2-24, triggered a collapse, leaving Bangladesh at 40-4 in the ninth over.
“I have been here during the BPL (Bangladesh Premier League) and I know it’s generally a slow pitch,” Ali said. “So I bowled stump to stump and got wickets.”
Afif Hossain top-scored for the side with 36 and Mahedi Hasan was unbeaten on 30 to help them get past 100.
The second match is on Saturday.