Captain Shahid Afridi’s decision to promote himself up the batting order to help Pakistan score the second-highest T20 total and a resounding win over Bangladesh here at the Eden Gardens was the biggest gain for the team, said Mohammad Hafeez.

The senior Pakistan batsman, who top scored from Pakistan with a stroke-filled 64, said Afridi’s 19-ball 49 provided the turbo that propelled Pakistan’s score past 200. “Afridi’s innings was very important as it gave us a base. The team did quite well overall but Afridi’s contribution to the bowling was also quite outstanding. The winning momentum is back and hopefully will help us in the rest of the tournament,” Hafeez said.

All-round contribution

Having come under criticism for his poor form and his comments after coming to India, Afridi’s outstanding show was hailed by Hafeez. “To be honest, it is great to see someone who was under pressure from the media and people (in Pakistan) come up with something like. This shows the kind of character he has got. That performance will boost his confidence and the whole team,” Hafeez said.

Hafeez said Pakistan has traditionally been an unpredictable side known to pick itself up in big situations. “Pakistan team has always been unpredictable. This is the tag that has remained with us since winning 1992 World Cup. We think we all love this tag and would like to play with that, Hafeez said.

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said he seemed to have misread the pitch seeing presence of some grass on the top. “We seemed to have misread it. I thought it was a grassy wicket and the ball will grip, our judgment was totally wrong,” Mortaza said after the match.

“Pakistan did well in the first six overs and I thought the match went away from our grip from there. I thought if we could have restrict them at a score of around 160, we could have made a match out of that,” said Mortaza.