Pakistan defeated Bangladesh by four wickets in the first of three Twenty-20 international matches yesterday (November 19) at the Sher-e-Bangladesh national cricket stadium. Pakistani players appeared anxious at times, and they were at risk of losing the match against a new-look Bangladesh side. However, two guided partnerships helped Pakistan win the match in the final over. On the other hand, Bangladesh fought hard till the end but they were unable to defend a low total. Let's take a look at the turning points of the first match of BAN vs. PAK T20I Series 2021.
The First Match of the BAN vs PAK T20I Series 2021: Turning Points
Bangladesh batted first and scored 127 for the loss of seven wickets in their allotted 20 overs. Pakistan responded by reaching the winning target with four balls to spare. Pakistan won the match by 4 wickets. Here are some of the match's critical moments.
Afif Hossain's falls in the thirteenth over
Saif Hasan made his T20I debut for Bangladesh in this match, opening the innings with Mohammad Naim. Both failed to score, as did Najmul Hossain Shanto, who batted at number three. The host lost three wickets for only 15 runs inside the power play. Pakistan's bowlers were on top at that point and Bangladesh's batters looked sluggish in front of the opponent's bowling attack.
However, one batter in particular had shown promise and courage in the innings. Afif Hossain rotated the strike in the middle after arriving at the crease to keep the momentum going. He even went after spinner Mohammad Nawaz for two sixes in the 11th over, a counter-attacking move after losing captain one over earlier.
Afif attempted one shot too many and paid the price for misreading Mohammad Shadab's excellent googly delivery. Bangladesh would have scored close to 150 runs if he had stayed at the crease till the end of the innings, which could be enough to defend. Therefore, dropping the well-set Afif Hossain was a significant turning point in the match.
Shoaib Malik's run out by Nurul Hasan in the sixth over
The pair of Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam started the chase well. But Mustafizur and Taskin upset Pakistan's top-order within the power play. They were 23/3 at the end of five overs. Pakistan's most seasoned batsman Shoaib Malik joined Fakhar Zaman at the crease.
However, he just lasted one over before being run out in the sixth over by Nurul Hasan. Shoaib made a lazy effort, he moved casually to the popping crease after playing Mustafiz's final ball of the over. Nurul Hasan responded quickly and sent the ball to the stumps. According to the TV replay, Malik was just a centimeter shot when the ball hit the stump. Nurul Hasan made a fantastic effort, and Pakistan were down to 4/24 at the time. Bangladesh were in complete control of the contest at that stage.
Bangladesh's 18th over by Mustafizur Rahman
Pakistan needed 32 runs in 18 balls with four wickets in hand. Bangladesh were in a better position than Pakistan in that critical stage. Captain Mahmudullah Riyad handed the ball to his most experienced bowler Mustafizur Rahman with the hope of a tight over. It was Mustafizur's last over but he did not live up to his captain's expectations. He gave up 15 runs in that over, making Pakistan's chase a lot easier.
Pakistan added 15 runs in the following over by left-arm pacer Shoriful Islam. Eventually, Shadab Khan secured the victory with a huge six at deep midwicket in the second ball of the 20th over. So, Mustafizur's final over was one of the match's crucial moments.
As the turning points show, the host made some mistakes in the opening match of the BAN vs PAK T20I series 2021, which is why they lost the match. However, this match showed that beating Bangladesh on the Sher-e-Bangla stadium pitches is a difficult task. Bangladesh players have a clear knowledge of the nature of the surfaces and can defend a decent total on this ground. Pakistan's lower middle order came to the rescue, otherwise, Bangladesh would have won the first match. Team Tigers must rectify their errors in the second match in order to make a comeback in the series.