Shoaib fifty sinks Bangladesh
Pakistan`s Shoaib Malik (R) plays a shot as Bangladesh`s wicketkeeper Liton Das looks on during the first T20 international cricket match of a three-match series between Pakistan and Bangladesh at Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on January 24, 2020. AFP
A half century from Shoaib Malik led Pakistan to a five-wicket win over Bangladesh in the first T20 in Lahore on Friday.
The all-rounder top-scored with a commendable 58 off 45, an innings that made the difference.
Chasing 142, the hosts were dealt a blow in the second ball of the chase when captain Babar Azam edged a Shafiul Islam delivery to the wicketkeeper. One-down Mohammed Hafeez made 17 off 16 thanks to three fours but he was soon gone, too.
Shoaib and debutant Ahsan Ali then added 46 in the third wicket to keep the chase on track. The latter hit 36 in 32 balls, courtesy of four fours.
Iftikhar Ahmed contributed 16 to give Shoaib the support required and the veteran ensured his team start the series with a win and break a five-game losing streak. The Man-of-the-Match hit five fours on the way to his half century.
Shafiul bagged two wickets for the Tigers while Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain and Aminul Islam took one each.
Despite a 71-run opening partnership, Bangladesh could only manage 141 for 5 after captain Mahmudullah chose to bat first.
Openers Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Naim made a decent start before the partnership was broken when Tamim fell victim to a run out in the last ball of the 11th over.
Tamim made 39 off 34 balls thanks to four fours and a six while top-scorer Naim hit three fours and two sixes to make 43 in 41 balls.
However, their fellow batsmen could not build on the platform set by the oepners and they ended up only making a modest score of 141.
Mahmudullah added an unbeaten 19 off 14 balls in the end while Liton Das made 13.
Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shadab Khan and debutant Haris Rauf claimed one wicket apiece for Pakistan.
The second game of the series will be played on Saturday, also in Lahore.