'Team effort' puts Pakistan through to Super Eights
Pakistan bludgeoned Bangladesh out of the World Twenty20 and reached the Super Eights with a ruthless batting display tonight.
Imran Nazir's brilliant 72 and the captain Mohammad Hafeez's 45 helped take Pakistan past Bangladesh's challenging 175 for six in Pallekele, after already overhauling the target needed to go through on net run-rate.
Shakib Al Hasan had smashed a record 84 for Bangladesh, who needed to win by 36 runs to go through, raising the prospect of a shock upset against the former champions.
But those hopes were quickly dashed by opener Nazir's career-best knock, including nine boundaries and three sixes in 36 balls, which made up the bulk of Pakistan's 124 for the opening wicket with Hafeez.
Even when both fell in one Abul Hasan over, Nasir Jamshed (29 not out) and Kamran Akmal (22 not out) ensured the win was achieved with eight balls to spare as Pakistan wrapped it up with 178 for two, joining New Zealand in the next round.
"It's a great team effort, the boys have shown the right attitude so far in this tournament," said Hafeez. "Our bowlers tried well but there is a little bit of a concern about the fast bowlers, still I am very happy as captain because the team are responding to me.
Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, was happy with his team's efforts in a high-pressure situation. "The pressure was on us but Hasan played very well. We can take some positives out of this and go home and work on a few things," Rahim said.
The Super Eights, which decide the semi-finalists, start in Pallekele on Thursday, with Sri Lanka taking on New Zealand and England playing the West Indies in Group 1.
Pakistan, India, South Africa and Australia are in a highly competitive Group 2, highlighted by the fact that all four teams are unbeaten so far in the competition.
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Published: September 25, 2012 04:00 AM