Shoaib Malik half-century leads Pakistan to victory in first T20

Debutant Ahsan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shoaib Malik delivered splendid performances to help Pakistan break their losing streak in the 1st T20I game played at Gaddafi Stadium on Friday.

The day started with Mahmudullah winning the toss and opting to bat first on decent surface. Openers Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Naim got the side off to a decent start and put on a 71-run partnership for the opening wicket. Soon after Tamim’s dismissal, the side failed to accelerate in their innings. Pakistan bowlers kept the pressure to see Bangladesh post just 141 runs in their 20 overs.

For Bangladesh, rookie opener Mohammad Naim was the standout performer with the bat and finished the innings with the top-score of 43 runs off 41 balls with the help of three fours and two sixes. He was well supported by Tamim Iqbal, who chipped in with 39 runs off 34 balls with the help of four fours and one six.

Wicket-keeper Liton Das scored 12 runs off 13 balls with the help of two fours, whereas Mahmudullah chipped in with 19 runs off 14 balls with the help of two boundaries.

For Pakistan, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan and Shaheen Afridi delivered immaculate lengths to maintain the pressure on the opposition. Left-arm quick Shaheen Afridi bowled well and finished with figures of 1 for 23 in his four overs.

In reply, Shafiul Islam dismissed Captain Babar Azam for a duck to provide early breakthrough for Bangladesh. Debutant Ahsan Ali and Mohammad Hafeez put on a 35-run partnership to build the innings for Pakistan. Left-arm quick Mustafizur Rahman struck in the fourth over and dismissed Hafeez to see Pakistan lose their second wicket with 35 runs on the board.

Experienced all-rounder Shoaib Malik came to the crease and formed a crucial 46-run partnership with Ahsan Ali to see Pakistan take control of the game. Aminul Islam got rid of Ahsan Ali, who played well in his debut game and scored 36 runs off 32 balls with the help of four boundaries.

Shoaib Malik batted sensibly and batted till the end to see Pakistan complete the chase in the final over of the innings. Veteran all-rounder delivered a splendid performance and finished the innings with the top-score of 58 not out off 45 balls with the help of five boundaries. Iftikhar Ahmed also chipped in with 16 runs off 13 balls.

For Bangladesh, Shafiul Islam was the pick of the bowlers and picked up two wickets in this game.

For his splendid half-century, all-rounder Shoaib Malik was named player of the series.

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