Thanks to Shoaib Malik experience, Pakistan defeated Bangladesh by 5 wickets in the first T20I match played at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Friday.
Bangladesh captain Mahmudllah won the won the toss and decided to bat first. It was a cautious start by Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Naim who struggled to score runs against Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasnain. At the end of six overs, Bangladesh scored 35 for 0.
After the power play overs, Naim and Tamim looked to play positive strokes. As things were looking good for Bangladesh, trying to steal the 2nd run, the experienced Tamim was run out by Haris Rauf. The Bangladesh openers added 71 runs. Naim struggled to score runs on a slow pitch which was tough to bat. Liton Das was run out by Shadab Khan which stem the run flow of Bangladesh. In the next ball, Naim was dismissed by Shadab Khan. Haris Rauf bowled a brilliant yorker to pick up his maiden T20I wicket for Pakistan. Bangladesh captain Mahmudllah remained not out on 19 off 14 balls to help the visitors score 141 for 5.
Chasing 142 runs to win, it was not an ideal start for Pakistan as Babar Azam was dismissed by Shafiul Islam with a review. The umpire gave it out and the decision stood it as out. The experienced Mohammad Hafeez stroked some lovely boundaries along with Ahsan Ali. Mustafizur Rahman got the breakthrough dismissing Hafeez. Hafeez and Ali added 35 runs for the 2nd wicket. At the end of six overs, Pakistan were 36 for 2.
After the power play overs, Ahsan Ali and Malik made the batting look easy taking singles and hitting occasional boundaries which did not put pressure on Pakistan batting line up. Aminul Islam struck by getting rid of Ahsan Ali for 36. Ahsan and Malik added 46 runs for the 3rd wicket. Malik looked at ease with good stroke play. Iftikhar Ahmed also chipped in with 16 off 12 balls before getting out to Shafiul Islam.
In the 19th over, Imad Wasim was bowled by Shafiul Islam. Malik reached his fifty off 40 balls. With 5 runs required off the final over, Malik and Rizwan ensured that Pakistan win the match by 5 wickets with 3 balls to spare.
Pakistan 142 for 5 in 19.3 overs (Shoaib Malik 58*, Ahsan Ali 36, Shafiul Islam 2/27) beat Bangladesh 141 for 5 in 20 overs (Mohammed Naim 43, Tamim Iqbal 39, Shaheen Shah Afridi 1/23) by 5 wickets.
Shoaib Malik was awarded the man of the match for his 58*. The 2nd T20I of the series will be played on 25th January at the same ground.