Recalled Shoaib sees Pakistan to T20 series lead

By Sports Desk January 24, 2020

Shoaib Malik marked his recall with an unbeaten half-century as Pakistan defeated Bangladesh by five wickets in the first match of the Twenty20 International series at Gaddafi Stadium.

Mohammad Naim top scored with 43 and Tamim Iqbal struck 39 on his comeback outing to become his country's leading T20I run-scorer, but the Tigers could only post 141-5 Lahore after Mahmudullah won the toss in Lahore on Friday.

Babar Azam fell for a duck in reply, but all-rounder Shoaib ​– back in the side along with fellow veteran Mohammad Hafeez ​– made 58 not out as top-ranked Pakistan got home with three balls to spare.

Ahsan Ali also made 36 on his Pakistan debut in the first of three T20Is, Shafiul Islam's impressive figures of 2-27 proving to be in vain.

Tamim and Naim laid the foundations with an opening stand of 71, but Bangladesh failed to build on that after the former was run out going for a second.

Liton Das was dismissed in the same fashion and Naim was following him from the next ball, caught behind off Shadab Khan, before Afif Hossain became Haris Rauf's first international victim.

Mahmudullah made an unbeaten 19 and Bangladesh had a spring in their steps when Babar nicked Shafiul behind second ball.

Hafeez followed for 17 and Pakistan were 81-3 in the 12th over when Ahsan departed, but Shoaib ​– playing his first T20I for 11 months – used his experience to keep them on course for a 1-0 lead.

Shoaib had his half-century when he was dropped at long-off and the ball crossed the rope, while Soumya Sarkar came back for a second run when he was also put down in the final over as Pakistan claimed a first win in the shortest format since last February.

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    Zimbabwe had resumed the day on 228-6 but saw their tail cleaned up in relatively short order by the hosts.

    Regis Chakabva (30) was the last wicket to fall in their first innings, Zimbabwe getting little from their batting line-up following captain Craig Ervine's century on day one.

  • Indiscipline cost West Indies in thriller – Pollard Indiscipline cost West Indies in thriller – Pollard

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    “Normally guys like me and Pooran finish it off but it couldn't happen today. Couple of soft dismissals in the middle really set us back,” said Pollard.

    “I think we bowled too many bad balls in the start, gave them too many freebies, that's where we lost the game. Our discipline was not there,” he said.

    Sri Lanka started well with a 111-run first-wicket partnership between Avishka Fernando (50) and captain Dimuth Karunaratne (52).

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  • Hetmyer passes fitness test, headed to Sri Lanka for T20Is Hetmyer passes fitness test, headed to Sri Lanka for T20Is

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    Hetmyer and Evin Lewis were spectacularly dropped after an announcement they had both failed fitness tests Cricket West Indies selectors had implemented as a requirement for selection.

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    The squad also includes a recall for Andre Russell and Oshane Thomas.

    Allrounder Russell, 31,  hasn't played for the Caribbean side since pulling up short midway through the 50-over World Cup in June 2019. However, he has taken part in other matches, most notably in the Bangladesh Premier League in December and January

    Russell is a two-time ICC T20 World Cup winner, having played a crucial role in the triumphs back in 2012 in Sri Lanka and 2016 in India. He has successfully completed the Cricket West Indies (CWI) return-to-play assessment programme under the supervision of CWI Medical Team in his native Jamaica. He has so far played 47 T20Is for the West Indies.

    Fast bowler Thomas, who turned 23 earlier this week, is selected after making a full recovery from a car accident in Jamaica recently. Additionally, wicket-keeper/batsman Shai Hope has been included alongside left-arm spinner Fabian Allen.

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    "Andre Russell is back in the squad, having been cleared by the medical panel and successfully completing CWI’s return-to-play protocol. Andre will add potency to every department of the team. Oshane Thomas appears to be focused and raring to go. He will add pace and penetration to the bowling unit.”

    Harper added: “Shai Hope provides an opening option and cover as a back-up wicket-keeper also. Fabian Allen returns from the injury he sustained in the series against Afghanistan late last year. He will provide a spin-bowling option as well as adding depth to the batting group.”

    Looking ahead to the T20I matches, Harper outlined that he will have one eye on the ICC T20 World Cup to be played in Australia later this year. West Indies are the defending champions and the only team to lift the trophy twice.

    “I look forward to the team building on its recent performances and winning the T20 series in Sri Lanka. This is another opportunity for the team to build on its strengths and identify areas that need improvement while continuing the process of building up with the aim of peaking for the T20 World Cup in October,” said Harper.

    The two T20Is will be played at the Pallakele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy.

    West Indies and Sri Lanka are now contesting a three-match ODI series. Sri Lanka won the first match today by a wicket in Colombo.

    The second match is in Hambantota on Wednesday.

     

    West Indies T20I squad

    Kieron Pollard (capt), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams.

     

    IN: Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, Fabian Allen, Shai Hope.

     

    OUT: Evin Lewis, Khary Pierre, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd.

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