Pakistan prevail in a low scoring affair against Bangladesh
Dhaka: Carrying on the winning momentum from their home series against Sri Lanka, Pakistan rallied back superbly to register an emphatic 50 runs victory over Bangladesh in a low-scoring Twenty20 international at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium on Tuesday.
Misbah-ul-Haq`s men, buoyant after a successful series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates, where they won in all three formats of the game, proved their mettle once again.
The tourists, playing their 50th Twenty20 match, fought back after being restricted to 135-7 to keep Bangladesh down to 85-9 on a slow wicket that hindered stroke-making.
Mohammad Hafeez claimed 2-11 in four overs and Shoaib Malik picked up two wickets in three balls as Pakistan recorded their fifth successive Twenty20 win over Bangladesh.
The Tigers were in danger of falling below their lowest T20 total of 78 -- against New Zealand at Hamilton last year -- when they stumbled to 69-9 in the 17th over.
But Nasir Hossain hit a defiant unbeaten 35 with two boundaries and a six to ensure Bangladesh batted out their stipulated 20 overs.
Misbah was delighted by his team`s performance over the past month.
"This is a good time for the team because we are really doing well," the Pakistani captain said. "It`s just great the way everyone is responding with bat and ball. Everyone is performing."
Misbah said he had hoped to defend a total of around 150 because it was a tough wicket to bat on. "As it turned out, 130-plus was a good score," he said.
A disappointed Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim conceded Pakistan were the better side.
"It was a tough wicket to bat on," he said. "On pitches like this, it is difficult to beat a side like Pakistan which has been playing such consistent cricket of late."
The hosts were left to rue a lethargic batting display in which nine batsmen failed to reach double figures, while two ran themselves out.
The match was as good as over when Bangladesh lost half their side by the ninth over with the total at 23.
The batsmen undid the good work by the bowlers who kept the Pakistani batting in check after Misbah won the toss and elected to take first strike.
Spinner Alok Kapali, the eighth bowler used by Rahim, picked up two for 12 and former skipper Shakib Al Hasan finished with two for 24.
Hafeez top-scored for Pakistan with 25, but found little support from the other end.
The rivals begin a three-match one-day series in Dhaka on Thursday, which will be followed by two Tests.