Malik, Akmal steer Pakistan to victory

The UAE skipper Amjad Javed's three wickets had Pakistan reeling at 17 for three in 3.1 overs before Malik (63) and Akmal (50) put on 114 for the fourth wicket--the highest in T20Is--to get their team's first win of the tournament.

Shoaib Malik (left) and Umar Akmal put on the highest fourth wicket stand in T20Is.   -  AP

The UAE skipper Amjad Javed took three wickets in his first to overs to put Pakistan on the backfoot.   -  AP

Shaiman Anwar led the UAE's recovery with a 42-ball 46.   -  AP

Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal helped Pakistan recover from a precarious start and steered the team to a seven-wicket victory with eight balls remaining in the Asia Cup Twenty20 match against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Mirpur on Monday.

The UAE skipper Amjad Javed's three wickets had Pakistan reeling at 17 for three in 3.1 overs. Chasing 130, Pakistan was under pressure before Malik (63) and Akmal (50) put on an unbeaten 114 for the fourth wicket--the highest in T20Is--to get their team's first win of the tournament.

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Javed struck in his first over trapping Sharjeel Khan leg before for four. A ball later, he had number three Khurram Manzoor caught behind for a duck. Pakistan were 11 for two in two overs.

The UAE skipper came back to dismiss Mohammad Hafeez in his next over when the latter gave a catch to Fahad Tariq at cover.

Earlier, the UAE had similarly recovered from a jittery start to finish at 129 for six.

After UAE won the toss and chose to bat, Pakistan's pacers dismissed its top three batsmen for a mere 12 runs. Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Sami, and Mohammad Irfan shared the wickets between them. Sami struck first after opener Rohan Mustafa handed a catch to skipper Shahid Afridi, attempting a slog.

Then, Amir knocked off Muhammad Kaleem's off-stump in his second over. Number three Mohammad Shahzad's brief stay at the crease ended when he edged Irfan's delivery to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed.

Coming at four, Shaiman Anwar (46 off 42 balls) began sedately to prevent further damage and was knocking off ones and twos with Usman Mushtaq. But Mushtaq, scoring nine off 19, top-edged Afridi's ball to Mohammad Nawaz at short fine leg. Shaiman and Muhammad Usman then quickly added 31 runs (in 16 balls) for the fifth wicket.

Irfan got rid of Shaiman in his second spell when the latter edged one to the wicketkeeper, with five wickets down for 72. Usman and skipper Amjad Javed then led the recovery, sharing a 46-run stand for the sixth wicket. Javed scored two sixes off Irfan in the 18th over, providing the impetus that UAE needed the most.

Pakistan handed left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz a Twenty20 international debut, bringing him in for paceman Wahab Riaz in the only change from the team which lost to India. The UAE brought in Usman Mushtaq for Saqlain Haider.