Dhaka: Opener Ahmed Shehzad and middle order Misbah-ul-Haque capitalised on Bangladesh’s wayward fielding to full effect as they guided Pakistan to an indomitable position in the warm-up match at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Tuesday. Both of them ended up with tons after surviving from easy catches to help Pakistan recover from the shaky start. And later an explosive batting during the last batting powerplay (43 overs to 48) saw them eventually amassed 285 for nine in 50 overs.
The story could have been more miserable for the hosts but a spirited bowling after the powerplay led by erratic Rubel Hossain restricted Pakistan to below 300 which at one phase seemed very realistic.
Pakistan, arguably the best team in the death over batting, plundered 57 runs at the cost of three wickets. Skipper Shakib Al Hasan nailed set Misbah and his opposite number Shahid Afrid in the space of three balls during the powerplay to relieve the side to some extent. Later Rubel provided a searing over to check Pakistan further.
With help of luck and pluck, Pakistan openers however shared a 42-run partnership after their captain opted to bat first. New ball bowler Shafiul Islam Suhas looked ominous from the onset as he troubled the batters with generating reasonable pace and swing. He lacked support as Rubel Hossain on the other end was erratic and leaked runs. Suhas however paid for his good work with dismissing Mohammad Hafeez who just indicated came out from the shell after some initial struggle to Suhas.
Ahmed Shehzad on the other hand was more confident about his shots and found the gap with ease. With adopting attacking approach he made the fielders busy but also offered two simple catches when he was on 31 and 56. He firstly got the lifeline giving a catch to long-on off Abdur Razzak. But Suhrawardi Shuvo failed to grip it while the latter he offered another catch in the same region off Shuvo. This time around Razzak missed it.
It seemed fielders were reluctant to chase behind some tough catches. Possibly they took it just a mere practice game and did not want to take risk. Misbah-ul-Haque benefited mostly from this approach as he offered some tough chances which the fielders specially Tamim Iqbal did not chase behind.
Both the batsmen used the life to full effect and had nice batting practice but could not last long once they touched three-digit figure. Ahmed Shehzad got rid of on 103 while Misbah made exact 100 runs. They shared 152 runs for the fourth wicket stand after the Pakistani were tattering 58 for three. The next highest 21 runs came from opener Hafeez’s bat, meant how the Pakistani were relied on the duo.
However when Shehzad got out, Shahid Afridi came in to the crease and took powerplay immediately. Both Afridi and Misbah then went on bludgeon on the Bangladeshi bowlers before Shakib Al Hasan dismissed both of them in the space of just three balls.
Rubel Hossain who was inconsistent earlier, finally decided to keep his mark in the match as he removed Abdur Razzak and Wahaz Riaz in two consecutive balls. For the Razzak dismissal credit should go for Nazmul Hossain, who took a fine catch in extra-cover region in contrast of the match scenario while Rubel’s next ball was a vicious inswinging yorker that any batsman could hardly survive. The dismissals of the duo eventually gave the hosts some respite, yet Umar Akmal took the side close to 300.
Shakib remained the most successful bowler of the side with scalping three for 49. Rubel also grabbed three wickets but had to concede 73 runs. Shafiul and Razzak bagged one wicket apiece.