Pakistan prevail despite late drama; clean sweep Bangladesh


DHAKA: It took Pakistan some doing to make exciting an otherwise dull and boring T20I series after they prevailed over Bangladesh in the last over of the series. Walking into the series as T20 World Cup semifinalists against a side that had lost all its games, nobody expected Pakistan to dominate Bangladesh in such a fashion, thanks to the latter’s terrific home record.

But, the result in the end was the one that was expected of Babar’s men. Total annihilation of the opposite. Bangladesh chose to bat first after winning the toss and managed to get a decent start, only to throw it once again towards the end of the innings. Their opening batsman Mohammad Naim top-scored with carefully crafted 47 off 50 balls.

With Bangladesh going at snail’s pace despite not losing many wickets, Pakistan ensured that they were never out of the game. Shahnawaz Dahani debuted for Pakistan and picked one wicket. Pakistan went into the game with four changes as Shoaib Malik decided to fly home to be with his son. He was replaced by Iftikhar Ahmed.

Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan and Shaheen Shah Afridi were rested, and Sarfaraz Ahmed, Usman Qadir and Shahnawaz Dahani were brought in place for them. Bangladesh managed to score their highest total of the series and set Pakistan a target of 125.

Pakistan, in reply, got off to a calm start playing cautiously as has been the case in the past. They were winning the game comfortably till the beginning of the 20th over with them needing just eight to win off the last six balls. However, Pakistan lost three wickets in the last over and the game went to the final ball before Mohammad Nawaz dispatched it for four to win it for his side.

Haider Ali won the Player of the Match award for his match-winning 45 off 38 and Mohammad Rizwan was named the Player of the Series.

This is the first time that Bangladesh have been clean swept by any visiting side by a margin of 0-3 at home in T20Is.

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