Pakistan beat Bangladesh by 21 runs

Pakistan beat  Bangladesh by 21 runs

Pakistan's Kamran Akmal (left) and Salman Butt during Twenty20 Cricket World Cup match against Bangladesh in St. Lucia on Saturday. AP

Butt (73 off 46) and Akmal (73 off 55) shared a breezy 141-run opening stand to help Pakistan pile up a competitive 172 for three after skipper Shahid Afridi won the toss and elected to bat in the slow Beausejour Stadium wicket here.

In reply, Bangladesh lost two early wickets but Mohammad Ashraful (65 off 49) and captain Shakib Al Hasan (47 off 31) kept them in the hunt with a quick-fire 63-ball 91-run third wicket partnership yesterday.

But Bangladesh chocked under pressure and in the end they were restricted to 151 for seven in their stipulated 20 overs.

Comeback man Mohammad Sami was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers with three wickets for 29 runs while he was ably supported by fellow pacer Mohammad Aamer, who scalped two for 16 at the other end.

Left-arm pacer Aamer gave Pakistan the breakthrough in the first over, getting rid off Imrul Kayes caught by Misbah. Tamim Iqbal (19) too did not last long as he hit one straight back to off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez off his own bowling.

Ashraful and Shakib played sensibly with occasional hits to the fence to keep the scoreboard ticking but needing approximately 10 runs per over, the duo perished in search of quick runs as Bangladesh eventually fell short by 21 runs.

Bangladesh's Mohammad Ashraful bats during Twenty20 Cricket World Cup match in  St. Lucia on Saturday. APNeeding 53 of the last five overs, a tired Shakib was caught at long off by Umar Akmal off Mohammad Sami and then Aamer put the final nail in Bangladesh's coffin, getting danger man Ashraful caught behind.

Earlier, Butt and Akmal made their intentions clear from the onset as they hit as many as 16 fours and three sixes between them to lay the foundation for the huge total.

The left-hander was the most aggressive as he accounted for eight boundaries and two sixes. Akmal too matched his partner stroke by stroke as he hit equal number fours but only had one six to his credit.

With Pakistan's hammering showing no signs of relenting, Bangladesh skipper Shakib-ul Hasan came up double strike to somewhat put the brakes on the run flow.

Shakib was the pick of the Bangladeshi bowlers with figures of two for 27 while pacer Safiul Islam accounted for one victim, giving away 25 runs off his four overs.

However, Bangladesh's plan to go with five spinners backfired as not a single bowler got reprieve from Butt and Akmal's onslaught as Pakistan notched up the highest total of the tournament so far, that too in a slow wicket.

SCOREBOARD

Pakistan:
Kamran Akmal c Abdur Razzak b Shakib Al Hasan  73
Salman Butt b Shafiul Islam 73
Shahid Afridi c Mahmudullah b Shakib Al Hasan  9
Abdul Razzaq not out 6
Misbah-ul-Haq not out  8
Extras: (lb 2, w 1) 3     
Total: (for three wickets in 20 overs) 172

Fall of wickets: -142 (Kamran Akmal, 15.5), 2-156 (Shahid Afridi, 17.6), 3-158 (Salman Butt, 18.2) 

Bowling:  
Mashrafe Mortaza 4 0 39 0 
Abdur Razzak 4 0 41 0  
Shafiul Islam 4 0 25 1
Naeem Islam 2 0 18 0   
Shakib Al Hasan 4 0 27 2
Suhrawadi Shuvo 1 0 12 0
Mohammad Ashraful 1 0 8 0

Bangladesh:
Tamim Iqbal c & b Mohammad Hafeez 19
Imrul Kayes c Misbah-ul-Haq b Mohammad Aamer 0
Mohammad Ashraful c Kamran Akmal b Mohammad Aamer 65
Shakib Al Hasan c Umar Akmal b Mohammad Sami 47
Mahmudullah c Mohammad Aamer b Mohammad Sami 0
Naeem Islam not out 10
Mushfiqur Rahim c Saeed Ajmal b Mohammad Sami  4
Mashrafe Mortaza  st Kamran Akmal b Saeed Ajmal  1
Suhrawadi Shuvo not out 1
Extras: (w-3, nb-1) 4     
Total: (for seven wickets in 20 overs) 151 

Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Imrul Kayes, 0.6 overs), 2-31 (Tamim Iqbal, 5.3), 3-122 (Shakib Al Hasan, 15.2), 4-123 (Mahmudullah, 15.6), 5-140 (Mohammad Ashraful, 17.5), 6-145 (Mushfiqur Rahim, 18.3), 7-150 (Mashrafe Mortaza, 19.3) 

Bowling:   
Mohammad Aamer 4 0 16 2 
Mohammad Sami 4 0 29 3 
Mohammad Hafeez 3 0 28 1
Abdul Razzaq 2 0 23 0 
Saeed Ajmal 3 0 18 1

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