Tigers pile on Pak miseries

Bangladesh filed more misery on visiting Pakistan after a clean sweep in one-day international series, inflicting a seven-wicket defeat on the visitors in the lone Twenty20 International in Dhaka on Friday. Sakib al Hasan and Sabbir Rahman slammed unbeaten half-centuries as the Tigers showed their batting depth to race to 143-3 in just 16.2 overs to post their maiden win over Pakistan in this format. Bowlers did well enough to restrict Pakistan to a modest 141-5, but Bangladesh’s top-order failed to deliver for the first time in the series and left it to others to complete the job. Tamim began from where the Tigers ended in the one-day series, hitting Mohammad Hafeez a six and two fours in three consecutive balls of the first over. But an attempt for a risky single saw Twenty20 debutant Soumya Sarkar was run out without facing a ball in the same over.  It may have affected the concentration of Tamim, who gave a catch to Hafeez off Umar Gul without adding anything to his 14. When Mushfiqur Rahim (19) dragged a delivery of Wahab Riaz onto his stumps to leave Bangladesh 3-38, Pakistan finally sniffed a chance to end their tour duck. But Sabbir joined Sakib to add 105 runs in their unbroken fifth wicket partnership and ensured Pakistan still remain winless in the tour. It also ended Bangladesh’s seven-match losing streak against Pakistan in this format, where they are regarded as one of the best in the business. Sakib top-scored with an unbeaten 57 off 41 balls with nine fours and Sabbir, who hardly got a chance to bat in the one-day series,  added 51 off 32 balls to show his potential. Pakistan will find little excuse to hide their frustration after they fielded a relatively experienced side and decided to take the first strike after Shahid Afridi won the toss and elected to bat first. Debutant Mukthar Ahmed and Ahmed Shehzad shared 50 runs in the opening stand but consumed nine overs in the process.

Shehzad clearly struggled against debutant left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman, who maintained an accurate line to leave him frustrated. Taskin Ahmed ended Shehzad’s painstaking innings at17 before Mustafiz was rewarded for his consistently good bowling with the wicket of Afridi, who made 12. Replay suggested Afridi was unlucky to get dismissed as the ball missed his bat before going to wicketkeeper Mushfiq. Mukhtar, who punished Bangladesh captain Mashrafee bin Murtaza ruthlessly for few over-pitched deliveries, was stumped by Mushfiq off left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny after making an impressive 37 off 30 balls. Haris Sohail (30 not out) and Hafeez still threatened to take Pakistan to a challenging score, but Mustafiz and Sakib, who conceded just two runs in his first two overs kept them in check. Mustafiz trapped Hafeez plumb leg-before in his final over to finish with 2-20 while Sakib gave just 17 runs in his four overs despite staying wicketless. The two teams will now play a two match Test series, beginning with the first Test in south-western divisional city Khulna on April 28.

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