Imran Nazir smashed 72 off 36 balls to propel Pakistan to an eight wicket win over Bangladesh in the World Twenty20 tournament here on Tuesday and ensure it qualified for the Super Eights.
A blistering 124-run stand from openers Nazir and skipper Mohammad Hafeez (45) helped Pakistan chased down the 176-run target in 18.4 overs. A sublime 84 off 54 balls by all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan went in vain as Bangladesh bowlers were taken to the cleaners on a good batting surface.
Pakistan advanced into a tough Super Eight group where they battle it out with Australia, South Africa and arch-rivals India. Bangladesh, who needed to win by a 36-run margin to make the next stage, lacked in discipline with the ball and gave far too many loose deliveries to the Pakistan batsmen.
It was Bangladesh's tenth straight loss in the T20 Internationals. Nazir and Hafeez took their team closer to the challenging target before the in-form Kamran Akmal (22) and Nasir Jamshed (29) completed the job at hand.
Nazir toyed with the opposition bowlers, hitting them for four boundaries and three sixes. Hafeez gave him good support before they both got out to Abul Hasan in the 14th over. The blazing innings came at the right time for Nazir, who scored his first international fifty since November 2009.
Both teams struggled with bowl as it was evident during the Bangladesh innings. Shakib made the Pakistani bowlers pay for their mistakes and played stokes all over the park. He struck 11 delightful fours and a couple of maximums.
Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi ,5/22/2013, 20:00 (IST)
M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru ,5/18/2013, 20:00 (IST)
Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune ,5/19/2013, 16:00 (IST)
Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad ,5/19/2013, 20:00 (IST)
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