Butt and Akmal lead Pakistan to big total
Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal built a first wicket partnership of 142 to help the defending champions help set Bangladesh a total of 173 to chase for victory.
Pakistan got off to a steady start, taking no risks Butt and Akmal slowly built the foundations of a big first wicket partnership.
They were helped by some poor fielding from the Tigers along the way; Mohammad Ashraful was guilty of the biggest let off dropping Akmal in the third over when the opener had only scored 13.
On a slow turning wicket Butt and Akmal stayed patient taking singles, two’s and the occasional boundary as Bangladesh took all off the pace off the ball.
The pair both recorded half centuries as the partnership passed 100 which gave the Pakistanis the perfect foundation to push the score towards 170 – 180. On a wicket considered favourable to the bowlers Butt and Akmal made batting look terribly easy.
With wickets in hand the pair started to attack the Bangladesh bowlers and the boundaries started to flow against a fielding team looking increasingly devoid of ideas.
The Tigers finally broke through in the 15th over after Akmal (73) mis-timed a cover drove which popped up in the air to Abdur Razzak at cover point giving Shakib Al Hasan the break through.
The loss of Akmal brought Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi to the crease but the big hitting all-rounder looked rusty and out of soughts having missed this months IPL tournament.
Afridi could only manage 9 runs before he was caught by Mahmudullah at third man to leave Pakistan 156-2 at the end of the 17th over.
Butt’s wonderful innings of 73 was ended 2 ball later when he was bowled by Shafiul Islam has Pakistan innings was starting to lose it’s momentum after such a good start.
Misbah-ul-Haq (8) and Abdul Razzaq (6) saw out the final 11 balls to help Pakistan reach 172-3 setting Bangladesh a big run chase.