Pakistan advance, Bangladesh crash out

Bangladesh

Bangladesh's bid to achieve an unlikely berth in the Super Eights stage of the World Twenty20 was stopped dead in its tracks by Imran Nazir's blitz, which powered Pakistan to an eight-wicket win.

Bangladesh's bid to achieve an unlikely berth in the Super Eights stage of the World Twenty20 was stopped dead in its tracks by Imran Nazir's blitz, which powered Pakistan to an eight-wicket win on Tuesday.

Opting to bat first on a Pallekele International Cricket Stadium pitch primed for plenty of runs, Bangladesh's chances of victory looked good after they reached a formidable total of 175 for six on the back of Shakib Al Hasan's career-best 84.

Opposition openers Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Nazir, however, made light work of a tame Tigers attack, with their 124-run alliance carrying Pakistan the bulk of the way to their target – with all of eight deliveries to spare.

The Pakistanis didn't necessarily have to win the match to graduate to the next stage of the tournament, in fact requiring just 140 runs to join England, Sri Lanka, West Indies, South Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand in the next round.

That sub-total, however, was achieved in the 16th over of the pursuit thanks to the savagery of Nazir in particular, with unbeaten cameos from Nasir Jamshed and Kamran Akmal later finishing the job.

Their was nothing merciful about Nazir's innings, which enjoyed an early reprieve after Abul Hasan dropped the eventual Man of the Match at mid-on when he was on one. Nazir went on to score 72 from just 36 balls, nine fours and three handsome sixes included. His effort went a long way in answering his critics, who want Nazir dropped and Jamshed promoted to the top of the order alongside Hafeez.

Hafeez's role in the 124-run alliance for the first wicket was relatively circumspect, garnering 45 runs from 47 deliveries, and largely playing the sheet anchor role to his opening partner's aggressive ambition.

Both men fell in the same over, with Hasan redeeming himself somewhat with the brace. But the two-fold breakthrough was too late for Bangladesh, who then endured Jamshed and Akmal's unbroken 52-run stand inside five overs.

Pakistan's final total of 178 for two amounted to their highest successful chase in the shortest form of the international game, bettering the 165 for four they landed against Austalia in Johannesburg five years ago. It was the first time the team batting second, in T20I cricket, won the match at this venue.

It entirely upstaged the Tigers effort with the bat, which rode on former captain Shakib's standalone success. The hard-hitting left-hander score surpassed the previous highest by a Bangladeshi in T20Is, with Mohammad Nazimuddin's 81 against Pakistan in 2007 resigned to second best.

While Bangladesh were left to rue their 10th consecutive WT20 defeat, Pakistan's performance was not free of blemish. Sohail Tanvir and Akmal dropped straightforward catches, and will need to put in a considerably stronger showing come Friday's fixture against South Africa.

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