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Twitter Reactions: Returning Shoaib Malik’s calm demeanour gives Pakistan victory

Mustafizur Rahman had a rough day as he gave away 40 runs, though he got Mohammad Hafeez's wicket.

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Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After loads of drama, Bangladesh’s tour of Pakistan got underway. The opening T20I at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore took place and Babar Azam’s men comfortably won by five wickets. The game went down to the last over, but the Men in Green didn’t flutter. The victory not only gave them a 1-0 lead, but also ceased their three-match losing streak in Lahore after the losses to Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh fall away after promising

The visitors got off to a steady start, taking a cautious approach. Tamim Iqbal (39) and Mohammad Naim (43) took the Tigers through the powerplay, unscathed. The duo put on 71 runs off 11 overs before Tamim got run-out at the striker’s end despite his valiant dive. From there on, the Tigers couldn’t add impetus into the innings. Liton Das’ wicket in the 15th over also came via a run-out.

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In that very over. Shadab Khan accounted for Naim’s wicket. Going into the last five overs, Bangladesh had two new batters, Mahmudullah and Afif Hossain Dhrubo. In the middle. Debutant Haris Rauf, who shone in the 2019-20 BBL, picked up his maiden international scalp in the form of Afif. But Mahmudullah stayed unbeaten and took the Tigers to a competitive 141 in 20 overs.

Malik gets Pakistan home

In the very first over of the chase, Shafiul Islam delivered a body blow. The pacer sent back Babar Azam for a duck, finding his inside-edge. Mohammad Hafeez promised with three fours before Mustafizur Rahman got rid of him. Thereafter, Ahsan Ali and Shoaib Malik steadied the ship with a 46-run stand. They churned out singles at ease and also scored boundaries to keep the rate in check.

But Ahsan threw his wicket away, trying to loft Aminul Islam Biplob downtown. At that point in time, Pakistan needed 61 runs off 49 balls with seven wickets in hand. But Malik and Iftikhar Ahmed kept chipping away at the target. Malik got to his fifty on return off 40 balls and took Pakistan closer. In the last over, the hosts got home with three balls to spare with Malik staying not out on 58 off 45.

Here’s how Twitterati lauded Malik and Pakistan: –

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