Butt, Akmal lead Pak to fine win | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Butt, Akmal lead Pak to fine win

Openers Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal cracked 73 each to guide defending champions Pakistan to a 21-run victory over Bangladesh in their opening Group A match of the Twenty20 cricket World Cup in St Lucia.

cricket Updated: May 03, 2010 00:58 IST

Openers Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal cracked 73 each to guide defending champions Pakistan to a 21-run victory over Bangladesh in their opening Group A match of the Twenty20 cricket World Cup in St Lucia.

Butt (73 off 46) and Akmal (73 off 55) shared a breezy 141-run opening stand to help Pakistan pile up a competitive 172 for three after skipper Shahid Afridi won the toss and elected to bat in the slow Beausejour Stadium wicket here. In reply, Bangladesh lost two early wickets but Mohammad Ashraful (65 off 49) and captain Shakib Al Hasan (47 off 31) kept them in the hunt with a quick-fire 63-ball 91-run third wicket partnership Saturday. But Bangladesh chocked under pressure and in the end they were restricted to 151 for seven in their stipulated 20 overs. Mohammad Sami was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers with three wickets for 29 runs while he was ably supported by fellow pacer Mohammad Aamer, who scalped two for 16 at the other end.

Left-arm pacer Aamer gave Pakistan the breakthrough in the first over, getting rid off Imrul Kayes caught by Misbah. Tamim Iqbal (19) too did not last long as he hit one straight back to off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez off his own bowling.

Ashraful and Shakib kept the scoreboard ticking but needing approximately 10 runs per over, the duo perished in search of quick runs.