Nazir blitz trumps Shakib's efforts
Bangladesh went crashing out of the ICC World T20 after suffering an eight-wicket loss to Pakistan in Pallekele on Tuesday.
Full Scorecard: Bangladesh v Pakistan
Bangladesh had half a chance to qualify for the Super Eights, needing to beat Pakistan by 36 runs, after winning the toss and electing to bat first.
A blistering knock from Shakib Al Hasan helped set the foundation for a solid total, but it wasn’t enough to counter a brutal innings from Imran Nazir who helped guide his side to a convincing win as they completed their highest ever successful chase in T20 cricket and helped ease them into the Super Eights.
Bangladesh’s opening pair of Tamin Iqbal and Mohammed Ashraful started well with both players getting off to a fast start - keeping the run rate above 10 for their 34-run partnership. Sohail Tanvir got the breakthrough for Pakistan in the fourth over when he got the ball to swing and Ashraful ended up missing his shot completely after contributing just 14 off 13 balls.
Iqbal looked solid and was hitting boundaries with relative ease before being run out. Al Hasan pushed the ball to mid-on and while Iqbal had already set off calling for a single, his partner at the striker’s end hesitated and sent him back.
Iqbal lost his balance and fell over, giving fielder Mohammad Hafeez plenty of time to run towards the non-striker’s end and dislodge the bails, sending Iqbal on his way for 24 off 12.
At 61-2, after 5.5 overs, Bangladesh were by no means in trouble, but new man Mushfiqur Rahim combined with Al Hasan to calm all nerves and steady the ship as the two put on a 68-run partnership. Al Hasan was the aggressor in the partnership, hitting boundaries to every corner of the ground, aided by sloppy bowling and fielding from Pakistan.
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The former Bangladeshi captain brought up his 50 off just 34 balls in fine style during the 13th over, with a six off Yassir Arafat, smashed over the midwicket boundary. Shahid Afridi nearly managed a miracle catch off the very next ball when he threw himself at a catch at mid-off, but couldn't quite get there.
Rahim was dismissed shortly after, in the 15th over, when he tried to pull away, but couldn't didn't quite get enough bat on it and Nazir took a good catch running to his right at deep midwicket, having added
25 off 26.
With the score at 129-3, the foundation was set to give Al Hasan licence to let loose and while wickets continued to fall around him, he remained the mainstay of the Bangladesh innings.
It took Pakistan until the final over to get their man with Arafat getting rid of Al Hasan with three balls remaining in the innings. Having contributing 84 off just 54 balls, Al Hasan tried to hit out again, but failed to clear long-off and Umar Akmal took a simple catch.
Arafat struck again off the last ball of the innings, helping him finish with impressive figures of 3-0-25-3 with Bangladesh having notched up a solid 175-6 in 20 overs.
Pakistan got off to a good start and Bangladesh had an early flop when Abdul Hassan dropped Imran Nazir on one. With Nazir having hit the ball straight to mid-on, Hasan fluffed a simple catch at head height off Shafiul Islam’s bowling.
Runs continued to flow during the Powerplay with Pakistan rampaging to 64-0 in the first six overs. Nazir raced to his 50 off just 25 balls, the fastest of the tournament so far, bringing it up with a six while Hafeez stayed put as his solid sidekick with Pakistan in cruise control at 92-0 at the halfway mark.
Bangladesh found some solace in the 14th over when Hassan got rid of Nazir after he tried to go for another boundary, but ended up being caught at long-on. He departed for 72 off 36 and Hafeez followed shortly after when he chased a wider ball and got an edge through to the keeper.
Pakistan were firmly in control though and needed just 50 off 36 balls and the two new batsmen, Nasir Jamshed and Kamran Akmal, saw their side home with eight balls to spare as they notched up a blitzkrieg 52-run partnership.
BANGLADESH: Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Ashraful, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), Mahmudullah, Nasir Hossain, Abul Hasan, Ziaur Rahman, Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak, Shafiul Islam
PAKISTAN: Mohammad Hafeez (capt), Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal (wk), Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Yasir Arafat, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal