Pakistan powered their way past a hapless Bangladesh to keep their hopes of a semi-final spot alive in the World Twenty20 yesterday.
Opener Ahmed Shehzad smashed an unbeaten 111 off 62 deliveries to lift Pakistan to a commanding 190-5 in the Super 10 match in Dhaka.
The 22-year-old from Lahore hit 10 boundaries and five sixes in his first T20 international century, sharing a fourth-wicket stand of 83 with Shoaib Malik (26) in the Group Two match.
Shehzad, who reached his century off 58 deliveries in the 18th over, was caught off a Mashrafe Mortaza no-ball in the 19th after hitting the previous delivery for a six.
The let-off proved expensive as Pakistan scored 44 runs in their final two overs, with Mortaza conceding 24 in the penultimate over.
Bangladesh’s chase never took off. Tamim Iqbal (16) added 30 quick runs in just over three overs with Anamul Haq (18) before being castled by Umar Gul (3-30), which triggered a top-order collapse.
Pakistan spin trio Saeed Ajmal (2-20), Shahid Afridi and Zulfiqar Babar struck in quick successions to deny Bangladesh any momentum.
Shakib Al Hasan (38) hit Babar for two consecutive sixes and played with natural flair in his 32-ball knock but it did little beyond injecting some temporarily excitement in the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Pakistan, who have two points from as many matches, must beat the West Indies tomorrow to join India in the semi-finals.
Bangladesh have lost all their matches so far and cannot qualify.
Shehzad hammered 31 in an opening stand of 43 with Kamran Akmal (9) that came off just 27 deliveries.
Bangladesh fought back by taking three quick wickets, two of them by left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, as Pakistan slipped to 71-3 by the 10th over.
Umar Akmal, Pakistan’s hero against Australia when he made 94, was dismissed by Mohammad Mahmudullah for no score.
Shehzad gave the innings a lift by smashing two sixes and as many boundaries in the 13th over bowled by seamer Ziaur Rahman, which cost 22 runs.
S AFRICA, ENGLAND
AFP, CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh
South Africa produced another clinical performance to beat England by three runs in Chittagong on Saturday to advance to the World Twenty20 semi-finals.
A.B. de Villiers and Hashim Amla hit half-centuries to anchor South Africa’s highest total of the tournament of 196-5, before Wayne Parnell took 3-31 to keep England down to 193-7 at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
South Africa were the second team to qualify for the semi-finals, after 2007 champions India cruised to the last four from Group Two.
The defeat, their second in three Group One Super-10 matches, sent 2010 champions England out of the semi-final race.
Sri Lanka are to meet New Zealand in their final Group One match today. The winner will also qualify for the last four.
De Villiers was happy at the much-needed win.
“It was a great game the boys did extremely well,” said De Villiers, who was declared man-of-the-match. “It’s very tough conditions to field in. I knew from the start we had to be unpredictable and mix things up. But once again the execution of the bowlers was amazing.”
Stuart Broad said his players were heartbroken.
“It’s a fantastic game, credit to the players for that, we’re heartbroken to come out on the wrong end but A.B. took the game away from us. It didn’t go to plan in the last three overs, but apart from that it was a good game for us,” Broad said.