Haris Rauf, who had earned his name in the Big Bash League (BBL), and the 26-years-old Ahsan Ali, made their debuts in the first T20I of the 3-match series against Bangladesh.
Shoaib Malik smacks 58* Pakistan vs Bangladesh, 1st T20I:
Bangladesh won the toss and opted to bat first. Opener Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Naim established a solid foundation for their team to build up upon their 71 runs partnership in the first 11 overs of the innings.
Tamim Iqbal scored 39 from 34 balls, while Mohammad Naim remained the leading run-scorer for Bangladesh with his 43-run innings from 41 deliveries. Captain Mahmudullah remained unbeaten with 19 runs from 14 balls as Bangladesh finished their innings on 141/5 after 20 overs.
Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Shadab Khan took 1 wicket each for their team.
Pakistan required 142 runs to win the match. Babar Azam lost his wicket for none on the 2nd delivery of the innings. Debutant Ahsan Ali played a steady innings of 36 runs from 32 deliveries to put Pakistan on the road to victory.
It was Shoaib Malik who did most of the damage to the visiting side. Malik, along with Hafeez, was recalled into the squad on the basis of his experience and he proved how valuable of an asset he is, even at this age.
Shoaib Malik’s undefeated 58 runs from 45 balls secured the game for Pakistan. He struck 5 fours in his innings. Iftikhar Ahmed also added 16 runs from 13 balls towards the end as Pakistan won the game by 5 wickets with 3 balls to spare.
Bangladesh’s Shafiul Islam claimed 2 wickets, while Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain, and Aminul Islam took 1 wicket each for Pakistan.
The 2nd T20I between the two teams will be played tomorrow.