Off-spinners Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik grabbed two wickets apiece to lead Pakistan to a comfortable 50-run win over Bangladesh in a low-scoring, one-off Twenty20 international on Tuesday.
Bangladesh, replying to Pakistan’s modest 135 for seven, narrowly avoided their record T20 low of 78 before finishing their chase on 85 for nine.
Nasir Hossain scored 35 not out to help Bangladesh past their lowest score, but it was nowhere near enough against a Pakistan side playing their 50th Twenty20 International.
The home team struggled from the start, losing their first five wickets for only 23 runs.
Hafeez, opening the bowling, took two for 11 and Bangladesh had to wait until the ninth over for their first boundary.
Malik (2 for 7) and Shahid Afridi (1 for 15) joined him to strangle Bangladesh on a slow turning track that made batting extremely difficult.
Pakistan also had to curb their attacking instincts and settle for a below-par score despite starting well with a 30-run opening stand.
Hafeez, who also opened the batting, top-scored for Pakistan with 25 off 31 balls, and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq was 21 not out as Pakistan hit only two boundaries in the last five overs.
Umar Akmal provided the only fluent batting of the match, scoring 20 off 14 balls including three fours.
Leg-spinner Alok Kapali was the most successful bowler for Bangladesh with two for 12 and left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan completed figures of two for 24.
Misbah hailed his team’s batting performance.
“There were some loose patches and the ball was just bouncing and turning,” he said.
“If you consider the wicket, I think the batsmen did a pretty good job for the way they got the start. There was a little tremble in the middle overs which cut down the score by 10 to 12 runs and scoring 140 or 150 could have been a brilliant job,” Misbah said.
Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim echoed Misbah’s sentiments.
“They had a very good attack and it was not always easy to face them in this kind of wicket,” Rahim said.
“And they all bowled to the best of their ability. It did not allow none of our top order batsmen to settle on the wicket,” added Rahim, who was without free-scoring opener Tamim Iqbal, who was left out because of a knee injury.