by Talal Dar
Pakistan team never fails to surprise, sometimes in a positive way and sometimes in negative way. Fortunately for Pakistan fans, their team surprised with their brilliant batting and scored 201 against Bangladesh in their first game of the World T20 in India.
Luck was on Shahid Afridi’s side as he won the toss and elected to bat first on a wicket which was not going to be an easy one for the bowlers. Pakistani openers had not done much when Pakistan and Bangladesh met in Asia Cup 2 weeks back, but this time 25 runs were scored in just 2 overs.
Sharjeel Khan hit a couple of sixes to set the tone and Ahmed Shehzad was eager to prove the selectors wrong, who had dropped him from the Asia Cup squad. Muhammad Hafeez had scored fifty against Sri Lanka in the warm-up game and followed it with another fifty.
The stage was set for the last 10 overs and Shahid Afridi made a bold move by promoting himself in the batting order. The skipper is going through a bad form and if he was dismissed at that time, Pakistan may have had a batting collapse. But he showed the glimpses of some of his best innings and hit 4 sixes to score 49 runs off 19 balls. He missed the record of fastest fifty by a Pakistani by just one run. 201 is the second highest T20 International total by Pakistan. The highest is 203, which also came against Bangladesh in Karachi in 2008.
Tamim Iqbal has been in a great form lately and scored century in qualifying game whereas Soumya Sarkar had played a magnificent innings against Pakistan in Asia Cup, but this time Mohammad Amir made sure that these two could not hit many boundaries in the six overs.
Amir and Afridi picked two wickets each as Bangladesh were restricted to 146. Pakistan won by 55 runs and this massive win could be very handy if the net run rate came into play later in the tournament. Even more importantly Pakistani side has got the momentum and confidence they wanted ahead of the game against India.
India will be under more pressure as they will be knocked out after losing to Pakistan whereas Pakistan will be pressure free as even the loss would give them another chance against New Zealand and Australia. Pakistani team has also settled down at the Eden Gardens Stadium after winning the warm-up game and this game against Bangladesh whereas India is coming after playing in Nagpur.
The most surprising fact was crowd’s support as 70% of the audience was on Pakistan’s side. Many Indians were wearing Pakistani shirts and some of them had also painted Pakistani flags on their faces. But same cannot be expected for the game against India, as they will surely support their own team.Share: