Setting the sights on series-clinching win, Pakistan will lock horns with Bangladesh in the second of three T20 internationals in Lahore on Saturday.
The hosts secured a hard-fought in the series-opener on Friday, thanks largely to Shoaib Malik’s majestic unbeaten fifty. The experienced right-hander made 58 upon his return to T20I cricket after more than a year as the home side chased the 142-run target in the last over.
It was their first win in the format after six losses in a row. They have to win the remaining two games to retain their top position in ICC T20I ranking.
Earlier, Bangladeshi middle-order batsmen struggled against a disciplined bowling attack and managed 141-5 after choosing to bat first.
Result: Pakistan won by nine wickets
Mohammad Naim top-scored for the visitors with 43 while Tamim Iqbal made 39 in his comeback game. The two delivered the visitors a promising 71-run first-wicket stand; however, after their dismissals in quick-succession, no other Bangladeshi was able to play a big knock.
Pakistan lost their skipper Babar Azam in the second ball of their chase, with pacer Shafiul Islam edging the right-hander behind the stumps. Mohammad Hafeez, playing his first T20I in nearly 14 months, fell to paceman Mustafizur Rahman for 17.
Ahsan Ali looked impressive on his international debut, hitting 36 off 32 balls before being dismissed by paceman Aminuul Islam.
The hosts were reduced to 81-3 in the 12th over when Malik and Iftikhar Ahmed stitched up 36 runs to put the chase back on track. Their partnership ended with the dismissal of Iftikhar by Shafiul in the17th over.
Al-Amin Hassan struck on the first ball of the penultimate over to snare Imad Wasim (5).
The two sides will meet again for the Monday for the third and final T20I.
Babar Azam (Captain), Khushdil Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Hasnain, Musa Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Ahsan Ali, Imad Wasim, Usman Qadir, Shadab Khan, Amad Butt, Haris Rauf
Mahmudullah (Captain), Mohammad Mithun, Aminul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Soumya Sarkar, Najmul Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Tamim Iqbal, Rubel Hossain, Moammad Naim, Al-Amin Hossain, Litton Das, Afif Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, Hasan Mahmud