Shaheen Afridi registered his best T20I bowling figures helping Pakistan restrict Bangladesh to 127/8 at the Adelaide Oval in an important Super-12 clash on Sunday. With this Pakistan has qualified for the semi-final.
Bangladesh struggled against a superior Pakistan bowling attack with batters failing to capitalize on their starts to end with a paltry score in the crucial match. Najmul Hossain Shanto top-scored with the bat for Bangladesh scoring a fifty. Opting to bat, openers Litton Das and Najmul Hossain Shanto started cautiously with Das taking the aggressive route. The right-hander smashed a four and a huge six in his brief stay, before becoming Shaheen Afridi’s first wicket in the third over.
Bangladesh’s experienced batter Soumya Sarkar walked in to bat at number three and looked to take the attack to the bowlers, smashing a six on his second delivery to Mohammad Wasim Jr.
The Bangla tigers did not lose any more wickets in the first six overs and ended the powerplay with 40 runs for the loss of one wicket.
After spending considerable time on the wicket, Shanto started hitting boundaries along with Sarkar to take the team to 70/1 after the end of the first 10 overs.
Bangladesh looked set to post a daunting total against Pakistan but leg-spinner Shadab Khan struck twice in the 11th over to dismiss Sarkar 20(17) and Shakib Al Hasan 0(1) to bring his team into the game.
Shanto played the role of a sheet anchor, stemming the flow of wickets, and notched up his second T20I fifty in the 13th over. He looked to cut loose in after reaching the milestone but was dismissed by Iftikhar Ahmed in the 14th over for 54(48).
The team then struggled to find boundaries and managed to reach 99/4 at the end of 15 overs. Afif Hossain tried to put his foot on the accelerator and struck a boundary in the 16th over.
Pakistan’s ace pacer Afridi bowled a brilliant 17th over to land Bangladesh twin blows, dismissing Mosaddek Hossain and Nurul Hasan in the over, exposing the tail. The bowler then scalped another wicket in the 18th over to register his best bowling figures in T20Is.
The lower-middle-order batters hit three boundaries in the last two boundaries to help Bangladesh reach 126/8 in their 20 overs.
Brief Score: Bangladesh 127/8 (Najmul Hossain Shanto 54, Afif Hossain 24*; Shaheen Afridi 4-22) vs Pakistan.