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Pakistan take Bangladesh in stride
September 20, 2007 21:57 IST
Debutant Junaid Siddique's sparkling 71 went in vain as a lackadaisical Pakistan, with a ticket to the semi-final in the pocket, beat Bangladesh by four wickets in an inconsequential match of the Twenty20 cricket World Cup in Cape Town on Thursday.
Junaid's 49-ball 71 was the highlight of Bangladesh's innings after the minnows were inserted by Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik [Images]. Bangladesh were all out for 140 runs with two deliveries left.
Chasing 141 for victory, Pakistan hardly looked convincing even though they reached the target with one over to spare.
Shahid Afridi [Images], opening the innings, top-scored with a 15-ball 39 that included two sixes and five boundaries, while Imran Nazir [Images], hit in the groin by Mashrafe Mortaza's [Images] third delivery, returned to remain not out on 27.
After Nazir returned for treatment, Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez [Images] (23) went great guns, adding 59 runs inside six overs till Syed Rasel had Hafeez caught by Tamim Iqbal.
Hafeez, who scored 23 off 21, was caught in the deep of Rasel. Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzaq got the vital wicket of Afridi as Pakistan slipped to 69 for three.
Pakistan lost three more wickets and slumped to 119 for six before Nazir and Butt saw them through.
Earlier, Bangladesh rode on debutant opener Junaid Siddique's magnificent half century to post 140.
Junaid blitzed his way to a 49-ball 71 which included six boundaries and three sixes. But he did not get able support at the other end with Bangaldesh's next highest scorer Aftab Ahmed scoring just 15.
19-year-old left-hander Junaid was fortunate early in his innings to get a life when Misbah-ul Haq failed to grab his miscued pull shot.
Tamim Iqbal was the first wicket to fall through a superb pick-and-throw from Mohammed Hafeez, running in from point.
That didn't deter Junaid from playing his shots and he hit some exquisite strokes off the Pakistani new-ball bowlers.
Junaid had another reprieve when a hoick off Tanvir flew just above Imran Nazir's hands at deep midwicket.
Shahidi Afridi was blasted for two boundaries down the ground as Junaid reached his 50 in 35 balls. Aftab Ahmed on the other end scored in singles and the duo added 63 runs for the second wicket.
But once Aftab was stumped by Kamran Akmal off Hafeez (2-27), wickets tumbled at regular intervals. Hafeez also got rid of Shakib-al Hasan while skipper Mohammad Ashraful [Images] was trapped in front by Afridi.
Hafeez came in for some harsh treatment from Junaid, who hit him for two sixes.
Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik (2-15) finally got the crucial wicket of Junaid, who went for one big hit too many.