Pakistan defeat Bangladesh by 4 wkts
Pakistan register a comfortable win to storm into the semifinal of the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup. Play and wincricket Updated: Sep 20, 2007 22:33 IST
Pakistan laboured to a four-wicket win over Bangladesh at Newlands Thursday to earn themselves a World Twenty20 semi-final date at the same ground this weekend. Pakistan's win ensured they finished top of Group F in the Super Eights stage with three wins in three matches.
Australia were the other semi-final qualifiers from the group after beating Sri Lanka by ten wickets in the first game of a double header at Newlands. Australia will have to travel to Durban for their semi-final.
Two of South Africa, New Zealand and India will qualify from Group E, depending on the result of the final Super Eights match between South Africa and India in Durban later Thursday.
Newcomer Zunaed Siddique made an aggressive half-century to play virtually a lone hand for Bangladesh after they were sent in to bat.
Opening batsman Siddique, who was named man of the match, blasted 71 off 49 balls but Bangladesh were bowled out for 140 in 19.4 overs. Pakistan seemed set for an easy win but they suffered a middle order batting collapse.
Opening batsman Imran Nazir, who had earlier retired hurt before scoring, returned at the fall of the fifth wicket and hit 27 not out to guide Pakistan home with six balls to spare.
Siddique, 19, a tall left-hander, marked his international debut with a sparkling innings which included six fours and three sixes. He showed a fearless approach at the crease. Even when three wickets fell in successive overs in mid-innings he slammed two successive sixes over mid-wicket off off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez.
But his penchant for the lofted stroke over midwicket caused his downfall when he was caught in the deep off Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik.
Nazir retired hurt before a run had been scored by Pakistan when he was hit in the abdomen by a ball from Mashrafe Mortaza. But the hard-hitting Shahid Afridi, opening the batting for the first time in the tournament, added 59 in quick time with Mohammad Hafeez.
Afridi slammed 39 off 15 balls with five fours and two sixes, while Hafeez made a more sedate 23 off 21 deliveries.
Hafeez was caught in the deep of Syed Rasel and left-arm spinner Abdur Razzaq followed up with the wickets of Afridi and Younis Khan as Pakistan slipped to 69 for three. There was another slump when three more wickets fell while the score rose from 102 to 119.
Bangladesh might have squandered a chance to pull off an upset win when Mahmud Ullah dropped Nazir at deep cover off Mortaza when Nazir was on four and the total 110 for five.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Aftab Ahmed, Mohammad Ashraful, Shakib Al Hasan, Nadif Chowdhury, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mashrafe Mortaza, Syed Rasel, Abdur Razzak, Junaid Siddique.
Pakistan: Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Younis Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir.