Shaheen Afridi hogged the limelight with six wickets at the Lord’s the last time Pakistan squared off against Bangladesh in an ICC event (in 2019). Three and a half years later, the two teams met at an ICC event again — this time at the Adelaide Oval in the T20 World Cup on Sunday — and Shaheen troubled Bangladesh again, returning his career-best figures of four for 22 as Pakistan stormed into the semifinals with a five-wicket win.
Scorecard and ball-by-ball commentary
Bangladesh’s decision to bat first backfired as Shaheen dismissed Litton Das early. Days after his 27-ball-60 in a narrow defeat to India at the same venue, Das started briskly again, hitting a six off Shaheen in the second over. But a catch at gully by Shan Mashood saw him return to the dugout just balls later. Bangladesh rebuilt with a 52-run stand between Najmul Hossain Shanto and Soumya Sarkar and managed to reach 127 for eight before Pakistan chased down the total with 11 balls to spare.
Capitalising on a reprieve — a dropped catch by Shadab Khan on 11 at short extra — Shanto went on to top-score with 54 (48b, 7x4). But the situation changed dramatically for Bangladesh in the eleventh over when Shadab Khan struck twice. Soumya attempted a reverse paddle-sweep that cost him his wicket. Shadab struck again on the next delivery, albeit amid controversy.
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Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan was given out lbw. Replays showed that the ball had grazed the bat before it hit the pad. Yet, the third umpire Langton Rusere upheld the on-field call. Shakib, stunned, shook his head, waved his hands, and didn’t want to leave the pitch.
Even as Shadab’s hat-trick was averted by Afif Hossain, Bangladesh lost steam after Shakib’s dismissal. It lost wickets at regular intervals and Shaheen struck twice in one over to eventually claim his first four-wicket haul in T20Is.
Chasing a rather low total, Pakistan survived a scare on the third ball of the innings as wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan dropped an easy catch off Mohammad Rizwan. As Taskin Ahmed looked shattered, Rizwan hit him for a six in the next delivery.
And as Bangladesh bowlers struggled to find a breakthrough, Rizwan and captain Babar Azam went about their business at ease. After a series of poor outings, Babar scored 25 off 34. Though he did not look set, the captain managed to spend some time at the crease before falling to Nasum Ahmed.
Shanto dismissed Rizwan (32, 32b, 2×4, 1×6) in the second ball of the 12th over, but with Mohammad Haris scoring 31 (18b, 1x4, 2x6) and Shan Masood stepping up with an unbeaten 24, Pakistan ensured it was home without further trouble. Sloppy fielding and a couple of unnecessary overthrows added to Bangladesh’s woes.
Pakistan had come from nowhere to make it to the semifinals after Netherlands stunned South Africa earlier in the day. It became the second team from Group 2, after India, to make it to the last four.