Shahid Afridi stars as Pakistan crush Bangladesh by 55 runs
Pakistan won their opening match against Bangladesh by 55 runs today, Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad batted first in Kolkata and Pakistan built a total of 201-5. Shahid Afridi who is captain, added a late cameo of 49 from 19 balls whilst Bangladesh mustered only 146-6, Shahid and Mohammad Amir took two wickets apiece. Pakistan top Group 2 and win in their next match vs India on Saturday would take them a step towards the semi-finals.
Afridi entered this tournament with him questioning his ability to contribute in the shortest format, with only 17 runs and three wickets in his past six Twenty20 internationals.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has said – “Two hundred is always difficult with Pakistan’s bowling attack and after six overs it was almost impossible. Shakib batted very well and we got 150, so its not that bad.
“We have to bowl better, we didn’t bowl well today. First six overs we couldn’t get much runs with the bat either. You can’t practice much, you have to be mentally strong.
“With [next opponents] Australia’s batting, it will be hard and Bangalore wicket will be flat. The bowling group must bring better plans.”
Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi said – “My performances play a key role, but I was hungry. I was keen to perform well for my country in this event. It’s a big event as captain, as senior player, I had to lead by example, I think from the last two or three series, the batsman struggled to find runs. Hafeez and Shehzad did very well.
“I don’t want to talk about the past, we should learn from our mistakes and India [who Pakistan play next] have been playing good cricket, even with the last loss. Captaincy is not an easy job, but when the team gives you 100%, I enjoy it.”
Pakistan face India in Kolkata on Saturday (14:00 GMT), while Bangladesh’s next game is against Australia in Bangalore on Monday (14:00 GMT).