Lahore [Pakistan], Jan 24 : Shoaib Malik played an unbeaten knock of 58 runs to help Pakistan defeat Bangladesh by five wickets in the first T20I of the three-match series on Friday here at the Gadaffi Stadium.
Chasing 142, Pakistan lost its opening wicket in the first over as skipper Babar Azam (0) was sent back to the pavilion by Shafiul Islam.
Mohammad Hafeez then joined Ahsan Ali in the middle and the duo put on 35 runs for the second wicket, but out of nowhere Mustafizur Rahman got the ball to take off and Hafeez (17) was caught off guard and as a result, he was sent back to the pavilion.
Veteran Malik came out to the crease and formed a 46-run stand with Ali, but Bangladesh once again came back into the match as the side dismissed Ali (36) in the 12th over, reducing Pakistan to 81/3.
Malik stayed firm at the crease, but Bangladesh kept on chipping away at the wickets at the other end and as a result, Iftikhar Ahmed (16) was sent back to the pavilion, with Pakistan 25 runs away from the target.
In the end, Malik steered Pakistan to a win by five wickets and with three balls to spare.
Earlier, Pakistan bowlers displayed a spirited performance to restrict Bangladesh to 141/5 in the allotted twenty overs.
Bangladesh got off to a steady start as openers Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Naim stitched together a 71-run stand. Pakistan finally got the crucial breakthrough of Tamim (39) in the 11th over as he was sent back to the pavilion via a run-out.
Liton Das then joined Imam and the duo put on 27 runs for the second wicket, but Das (12) lost his wicket again after poor judgment between the wickets sent him back to the pavilion.
After Das’ dismissal, Pakistan kept on chipping away at the wickets and they finally restricted the visitors to under 150.
Brief Scores: Pakistan 142/5 (Shoaib Malik 58*, Ahsan Ali 36, Shafiul Islam 2-27) defeat Bangladesh 141/5 (Mohammad Naim 43, Tamim Iqbal 39, Shaheen Shah Afridi 1-23) by five wickets.