Shoaib Malik’s power pack return leads Pakistan to victory

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Lahore: Shoaib Malik has returned to international cricket with a power pack performance, scoring 58 off 45 balls leading green shirts to a five-wicket win in the 1st T20I against Bangladesh at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

The 39-year-old’s innings included five fours and was also awarded man of the match. “Shoaib played really well and his inning was the highlights of Pakistan innings by guiding towards the victory,” Mahmudullah praises Shoaib in the post-match presser.

Debutant Ahsan Ali also made valuable 36 in the debut match smashing four boundaries. “Credit goes to him (Ahsan) who supported at the right time on a difficult pitch,” Shoaib Malik on Ahsan Ali.

It was rare to see skipper Babar Azam getting out for a duck. He got dismiss by Shafiul Islam in the first over of the innings. Professor Mohammad Hafeez only managed to score 17 runs.

Pakistan restricted Bangladesh to 141 for five after losing the toss. Bangladesh got off to a slow start by the opening duo of Tamim Iqbal and Mohammad Naim. Debutant Haris Rauf broke the partnership courtesy a great run-out, Tamim departed after scoring 39 off 34 balls.

“They both were batting brilliantly and gave us a good start but we lost two wickets in one over that pushed us back and we lost the rhythm there,” Mahmudullah said

In the 15th over, Naim (43) also became the victim of a brilliant runout by Shadab Khan. The visitors after that were not able to end the innings on a high note. Captain Mahmudullah scored 19 off 14 balls.

“We were 10-15 run short in the end, the ball was not coming on the bat as we were expecting,” Mahmudullah added.

For Pakistan Shaheen Khan, Shadab Khan picked one wicket each by giving away 23 and 36 runs respectively in their quota of four overs. Haris also claimed one wicket as he clean bowled left-handed Atif Hossain.

Both the teams will now face each other tomorrow in the 2nd T20I at the same venue at 2.00 pm.

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