Pakistan’s veteran cricketer Shoaib Malik made a splendid return to T20Is with the match-winning half-century to take his side to an impressive victory against Bangladesh in the opening game of the three-match T20I series at Gaddafi Stadium on Friday. Malik smashed an unbeaten 58 with five fours to give the hosts a 1-0 lead in the series.
Earlier, Bangladesh won the toss and opted to bat first, but the decision backfired as Pakistan bowlers bowled well enough to restrict the visitors on 141-5. In reply, Bangladesh struck early as the host team’s skipper Babar Azam got out for a duck.
Mohammad Hafeez, who has also returned to the squad, failed to impress as he went back to the pavilion for just 17. Then came Malik, who like always exhibited his calmness and played a really crucial knock to take his side over the line.
Pakistan won the match by 5-wickets. With no surprises, the 37-year-old was honored with the ‘Player of the Match’ award.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) January 24, 2020
Former Pakistan’s pacer Shoaib Akhtar reacted after the win. Akhtar praised Malik’s performance and said that his experience will eventually help the national team in the upcoming T20 World Cup.
“Strong comeback by @realshoaibmalik. As I’ve said in the past, we require his experience going into T20 World Cup. Overall a good performance. Hopefully @MHafeez22 will also score big during the series. #PAKvBAN,” tweeted Akhtar.
Strong comeback by @realshoaibmalik. As I've said in the past, we require his experience going into T20 World Cup.
Overall a good performance. Hopefully @MHafeez22 will also score big during the series. #PakvsBan
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) January 24, 2020
Here’s how others reacted:
— Wahab Riaz (@WahabViki) January 24, 2020
— Fawad Alam (@iamfawadalam25) January 24, 2020
— Ahmad Shahzad 🇵🇰 (@iamAhmadshahzad) January 24, 2020
Highest runscorers in T20Is:
Virat Kohli 2734
Rohit Sharma 2640
Martin Guptill 2466
Shoaib Malik 2321#Cricket
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) January 24, 2020