Bangladesh falls to a 50-run defeat effectively ending Australia’s slim hopes of staying alive in the tournament
There were no roadblocks in Pakistan’s way on Sunday; no surprises, no silliness. Ahmed Shahzad overrode any such considerations with a first century by a Pakistani player in T20 internationals as Bangladesh was beaten by 50 runs at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.
Shahzad’s innings of 111 (62b), destructive yet calm, kept his team alive in the ICC World Twenty20. The contest with West Indies on Tuesday will now decide which of the two sides will advance to the semifinals from group-2, India having sealed one spot already.
Chasing 191, Bangladesh could manage a score of only 140.
Tamim Iqbal started in a hurry but, as is his wont, succumbed in an inexplicable effort to work the ball away, Umar Gul bowling him for 16.
Anamul Haque impressed with a few boundaries, including one off the first ball Saeed Ajmal sent down. The off-spinner had his revenge in the same over, however, his craft too much for Anamul, who offered a simple return catch.
With the exit of Shamsur Rahman and Mushfiqur Rahim, who did little of note, Bangladesh plunged to 47 for four in the tenth over, with all hope gone.
Shakib al Hasan, who top-scored with 38, and Nasir Hossain briefly entertained the crowd but it made little difference to the outcome.
Gul finished with three for 30 as Pakistan won comfortably, thereby shutting the door on Australia.
In the afternoon, Shehzad proved to be the glue that held the innings together, after Pakistan had chosen to bat first. The opener spared neither Mashrafe Mortaza nor Al-Amin Hossain, spanking both bowlers around at the outset.
He stepped out, made room and struck the ball through the offside, while there was a lovely straight drive off Mortaza for six, to round off an over that brought 18 runs.
In four overs, Pakistan had galloped to 42 without loss, at which point Mushfiqur turned to spin from both ends.
Abdur Razzak broke through at once, removing Kamran Akmal. Captain Mohammad Hafeez stuck around ponderously for some time before being stumped off the same bowler.
By the time Umar Akmal fell second ball, edging a wild swing to third man, Pakistan had sunk to 75 for three in 10 overs, a marked slump after that early onslaught.
At the other end, Shehzad had kept himself occupied striking the odd six and attempting pointless paddle sweeps. He moved up a gear in the 13th over, when Ziaur Rahman was taken for 22 runs via two sixes.
The stand for the fourth wicket — Shoaib Malik the other participant — shot past fifty in quick time (27b).
Shehzad raised his ton off 58 balls, with a single to cover in the 18th over. He thought he had holed out to long on immediately after but Mortaza had overstepped, and the batsman would finish unconquered, with 10 fours and five sixes.
Pakistan ran up 190, aided by Shahid Afridi’s cameo at the end.
Pakistan: A. Shehzad (not out) 111 (62b, 10x4, 5x6), K. Akmal c Ziaur b Razzak 9 (12b, 2x4), M. Hafeez st. Mushfiqur b Razzak 8 (12b), U. Akmal c Tamim b Mahmudullah 0 (2b), S. Malik st. Mushfiqur b Shakib 26 (23b, 2x4), S. Afridi c Ziaur b Al-Amin 22 (9b, 1x4, 2x6), S. Maqsood (not out) 1 (1b); Extras (b-3, w-9, nb-1): 13; Total (for five wkts. in 20 overs): 190.
Fall of wickets: 1-43 (K. Akmal), 2-70 (Hafeez), 3-71 (U. Akmal), 4-154 (Malik), 5-188 (Afridi).
Bangladesh bowling: Mortaza 4-0-63-0, Al-Amin 4-0-37-1, Shakib 4-0-21-1, Razzak 4-0-20-2, Mahmudullah 3-0-24-1, Ziaur Rahman 1-0-22-0.
Bangladesh: T. Iqbal b Gul 16 (15b, 2x4), A. Haque c and b Ajmal 18 (16b, 3x4), Shakib c U. Akmal b Gul 38 (32b, 2x4, 2x6), S. Rahman c K. Akmal b Afridi 4 (12b), Mushfiqur lbw b Babar 2 (4b), N. Hossain st. K. Akmal b Ajmal 23 (19b, 1x4, 1x6), Mahmudullah (not out) 17 (12b, 1x4), Z. Rahman c K. Akmal b Gul 0 (1b), M. Mortaza (not out) 17 (9b, 4x4), Extras (lb-3, w-2) 5; Total (for seven wkts. in 20 overs) 140.
Fall of wickets: 1-30 (Iqbal), 2-36 (Haque), 3-44 (Rahman), 4-47 (Mushfiqur), 5-91 (Shakib), 6-112 (Hossain), 7-116 (Rahman).
Pakistan bowling: Hafeez 3-0-16-0, Tanvir 3-0-26-0, Gul 4-0-30-3, Ajmal 3-0-20-2, Babar 3-0-24-1, Afridi 4-0-21-1.
Man-of-the-Match: Ahmed Shehzad.