Misbah's heroics help Pakistan knock Bangladesh in T20
by AFP

Ground:National Stadium, Karachi
Scorecard:Pakistan v Bangladesh
Player:Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Nazimuddin, Mansoor Amjad
Event:Bangladesh in Pakistan 2007/08

DateLine: 22nd April 2008


Misbah-ul Haq led Pakistan's charge in guiding the home team to a comfortable 102-run win in the one-off Twenty20 international at the National Stadium here on Sunday.


The 33-year-old scored a career-best 87 to lift Pakistan to their record Twenty20 total of 203-5 in 20 overs before the home bowlers folded the Bangladesh innings to 101 in 16 overs.


The all-round domination gave Pakistan a win in the first Twenty20 match ever staged in the country.


Bangladesh, who were blanked 5-0 in the preceding one-day series, lost their way after a solid 41-run start by openers Tamim Iqbal (23) and Nazim Uddin who topscored with 42.


Other than Nazim, who hit three sixes during his 48-ball knock, none of the Bangladeshi batsmen posed any real threat to Pakistan as the tourists lost their last eight wickets for a mere 16 runs.


Three runs out also didn't help Bangladesh's cause.


Once Iqbal was bowled by paceman Sohail Tanveer in the sixth over, Bangladesh were derailed as Mohammad Ashraful (13), Aftab Ahmed (3) and Shakib Al Hasan (nought) all failed to put up any resistance.


Pakistan leg-spinner Mansoor Amjad, playing his first international match, took 3-3 in his only over.


Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik was full of praise for his team.


"We showed true team spirit and the way we have played in this whole series gives me a lot of satisfaction that this team can do better against tougher opponents in the coming season," he said.


Bangladesh skipper Ashraful said his young team needed time to improve.


"Credit to Pakistan, they outclassed us. We have a young team so we need time to improve but I feel that we are learning with every match," he said.


Earlier, Misbah shared two important stands of 78 for the third wicket with Younis Khan (47) and 63 for the fourth wicket with captain Shoaib Malik (37) after Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat.


Misbah hit five towering sixes and three boundaries off just 53 balls to build Pakistan's highest total in a Twenty20 international, beating 191-7 also against Bangladesh in Nairobi last year.


Pakistan, who blanked the visitors 5-0 in the preceding one-day series, lost openers Salman Butt (one) and Kamran Akmal (nought) in paceman Mashrafe Mortaza's first over, but Misbah put the team back on track.


Butt was run out after he failed to regain his crease off the second ball, while Akmal was bowled off Mortaza's sixth delivery.


Younis matched Misbah stroke for stroke, hitting seven boundaries during his 28-ball knock before left-arm spinner Hasan caught him off his own bowling.


Malik upped the tempo as Pakistan made 90 off their first 10 overs. He hit two boundaries and three sixes before he was stumped off left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak.


Misbah lifted Razzak for a six over long-on to cross his previous highest Twenty20 score of 66 made against Australia. His 87 also becomes the highest score by a Pakistani batsmen in a Twenty20 match.


The previous highest by a Pakistani batsman in a T20 match was Misbah's own 66.

(Article: Copyright © 2008 AFP)