LIVE: Afridi-inspired Pakistan beat Bangladesh in campaign opener
Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi’s all-round performance inspired his team to a 55-run victory against Bangladesh in their World T20 Super10s match on Wednesday at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
This was Pakistan’s second-biggest victory margin in the World T20s after an 82-run victory against Netherlands at Lords in 2009.
After Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first, Ahmed Shehzad (52) and Muhammad Hafeez (64) scored half-tons to help their team start off well against Bangladesh.
Shahid Afridi walked in at number four and blasted 49 off just 19 balls then to guide the team past 200-run mark.
Taskin Ahmed and Arafat Sunny bagged two wicket apiece for Bangladesh.
While chasing 202 runs, Bangladesh kept the score board ticking but lost wickets after regular intervals.
Shakibal Hasan scored 50 off 40 balls to top-score for Bangladesh. The team could only manage 146 runs in 20 overs for the loss of six wickets.
Muhammad Amir and Shahid Afridi bagged two wickets for Pakistan.
Man of the match is Shahid Afridi: My performance is always key. I was hungry for a performance. It’s a big event. I should take responsibility. I had to set an example for the youngsters. [On promoting himself in the batting order] I love to give chances to my batsmen but sometimes you need to come out yourself.”
He continued: “Our batsmen were struggling to find runs. Hafeez and Shehzad did good for us today. Sharjeel is also an attacking cricketer who can give us a good start if he stays there for the first six overs. I don’t live in the past. We should learn from our mistakes. They are playing good cricket. Our morale is very high after this game.
On a question of what do you enjoy the most? Batting, bowling or captaincy? Afridi said: “Captaincy is difficult but I like it most.”
Mashrafe Mortaza: Chasing 200 is always difficult. We didn’t bowl well today. We should have scored more runs in the first six overs. We have to be mentally set against Australia. Our bowling will have to come good against them. Mustafiz is getting better, he will be back soon.
Pakistan: Shehzad, Sharjeel, Hafeez, Malik, U Akmal, Sarfraz (wk), Afridi (capt), Imad Wasim, Wahab, Amir, Irfan
Bangladesh: Tamim, Soumya, Sabbir, Shakib, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur (wk), Mithun, Mashrafe (capt), Sunny, Taskin, Al-Amin