Bangladesh v Pakistan, Group A, St Lucia
20 overs Pakistan 172 for 3 (Butt 73, Akmal 73) beat Bangladesh 151 for 7 (Ashraful 65, Sami 3-29) by 21 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Pakistan held their nerve and weathered a threatening 91-run partnership between Mohammad Ashraful and Shakib Al Hasan to start their World Twenty20 campaign with a victory in St Lucia. The win was set up by Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt’s 142-run opening stand after captain Shahid Afridi won the toss and opted to bat first, which allowed Pakistan to reach an imposing 172 for 3. Bangladesh’s reply got off to a stuttering start with both openers dismissed inside the first six overs. Shakib and Ashraful’s partnership kept them in the hunt, but Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Sami’s pace and accuracy proved too much in the end, and Bangladesh’s chase fizzled out in the closing stages.
Complete Coverage of match
Pakistan began their title defense in imposing fashion against Bangladesh in St. Lucia, as Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal set the platform for the highest total of the tournament so far. Butt, a surprise selection, put in 142 with Akmal and Shahid Afridi said, the decision to bat was not in vain. Bangladesh, the poor during most of the entries, will do well to chase 173.
Akmal and Butt has the right balance in intelligent support. The two attacked regularly, but with thought. Akmal position was predictable, almost immediately trying to set the agenda. A bold statement was made against left arm spin – Bangladesh’s most potent weapon – immediately, as it swept twice Abdur Razzak in the second envelope.
It was he who took risks, almost paying for it when a remote chance of a miscue tug was hollowed out by Mohammad Ashraful. They had to pay for it as Akmal did what he does best. He left the court, the units cover cropping, strip and the occasional slap on the extra cover amazing. While both singles and doubles in a very fluid field, ensuring Akmal as comfortable as a 73 will do in this format.
Butt, however, was the pleasant surprise. He has appeared ill-suited to the format, can not work the gaps and not blessed with the power game that is impoverished hitters more races. But he has a good record of ODI and the intention was there from the start, and lofted his ball on the first extra cover.
Thereafter, at regular intervals dancing down to another city, or go find air spaces. When Akmal huffed and puffed and threw blows at the top was as quietly as you can reach fifty from 29 balls. There was no violence, only the head clear intention and faith in their regular lines.
His game improved leg side was on display as well, in three successive overs after 10, swept to Hasan Shakib, Razzak slog swept up and hit rookie Shuva Suhrawadi longer in the other. A pair of improvised films legside hinted that can be learning new tricks and his second T20I fifties was an unexpected gift. All kinds of places of interest arose in this period, hundreds of Pakistan, fifty Akmal and without doing anything too stupid, hung mammoth total.
Bangladesh started poorly, nervous in the field and the ball at the start, not in any way to baste the whole more good balls. It was not until the 16th over, in fact, when Akmal finally claimed that more than one shot without receiving at least one border. He recovered, allowing no limit in the final overs, but the damage was done.