Pakistan start T20 title defence with comfortable 21-run win over Bangladesh

Defending champions Pakistan kickstarted its campaign in the ICC World T20 Championship with a comfortable 21-run victory over Bangladesh at the Beausejour Stadium here.

Batting first, Pakistan put up a handsome total of 172 for three, thanks to the record first wicket partnership of 142 runs between wicket keeper Kamran Akmal and man-of-the-match Salman Butt. Both scored 73 runs each.

Bangladesh’s slower bowlers did managed to contain Pakistan’s free flowing batsmen for a brief period with captain Shakib al Hasan taking two wickets for 27 runs. He was ably supported by Shafiul Islam who grabbed the wicket of dangerous Butt, giving 25 runs in his quota of four overs.

Chasing a challenging total, Bangladesh’s batsmen never looked in command and the fate of the match was probably written in the sixth over itself when the ‘lions’ were reduced for 31 for two.

However, Mohammad Ashraful (65) and captain Shakib Al Hasan (47) kept their team in the hunt with a steady third-wicket stand of 91 runs, but a target of 32 off 12 balls proved just beyond Bangladesh’s reach who finished on 151 for seven.

For Pakistan, it was fast bowlers Mohammed Sami, and Mohammed Aamer who did most of the damaged claiming three and two wickets respectively.

The win gave Pakistan some relief after their shocking defeat to Zimbabwe in the practice game.

They now face the mighty Australia today (Sunday, May 2), while Bangladesh will finish their group engagement with an encounter against the Kangaroos at Barbados on May 5. (ANI)

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