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Bangladesh remain winless in tri-series suffering another defeat

Captain Shakib Al Hasan struck his second consecutive half-century and Liton Das returned to form with a class fifty but Bangladesh still suffered a seven-wicket defeat to Pakistan in their last game of the tri-nation series at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Thursday.

By doing so, Bangladesh lost all of the four matches in this tournament, which is considered as the preparation platform for the upcoming T20 World Cup. The Tigers lost the first match to Pakistan by 21 runs before tasting an eight-wicket defeat to New Zealand in the second game. They also lost their return leg game to New Zealand by 48 runs and now Pakistan whacked them past by seven wickets.

Captain Shakib Al Hasan and technical consultant Sridharan Sriram earlier said it’s the tournament where Bangladesh would make a hell of experiment and they won’t mind if they suffer defeat.

Going by their word, they actually came up with experiment for every position and claimed to have got their desired combination for the World Cup despite tasting defeats in all matches.

However thanks to Shakib and Liton, Bangladesh posted 173-6 but Pakistan replied with the half-century of Mohammad Rizwan and captain Babar Azam as they cantered to the victory, reaching 177-3.

After electing to bat first, Bangladesh again came up with a new opening partnership in Najmul Hossain Shanto and Soumya Sarkar but they also failed to utilize the opportunity.

The opening partnership was broken in third over with fast bowler Naseem Shah removing Soumya for 4. Shanto also couldn’t get going and failed for the third time in a row to use the opportunity given by the team management as he was out for 12 off 15.

Liton and Shakib then played with caution and aggression, exactly what a T20 game demanded and for the first time in the last two years, Bangladesh indeed looked like a genuine T20 team.

They treated the bad ball with disdain and respected the good balls but sometimes also improvised their shots when it was tough to score against relentless good bowling.

Left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz finally broke through when he dismissed Liton for 69, ending an 88-run partnership between him and Shakib. Liton smashed six fours and two sixes in his 42 ball-knock.

Shakib kept rotating the scoreboard but Naseem Shah came back in the death overs to undo him with some display of inswing bowling, mixed with huge pace. Shakib smote seven fours and three sixes for his 42 ball-68.

Bangladesh’s death over batting or a lack of a finisher after a good partnership was widely exposed again when Afif Hossain and Yasir Ali failed to hit big in the last two overs, leaving Bangladesh at least 15/20 runs short.

Naseem Shah and Mohammad Wasim snared two wickets apiece for Pakistan.

Mohammad Rizwan struck 56 ball-69 and captain Babar Azam made 55 off 40 as Pakistan got off to a solid start in the chase of 174. They shared 101 runs in 12.1 overs before Hasan Mahmud broke through with the wicket of Babar who sent the ball across the ropes for nine times.

One ball later Mahmud got the scalp of Haider Ali for naught to give Bangladesh a slim hope but Pakistan’s strategy to send Mohammad Nawaz up in the batting order worked superbly. Nawaz hammered an unbeaten 45 off just 20 to hasten the victory. When Nawaz made his carnage, Soumya Sarkar removed Rizwan to reduce the margin of the defeat.

Mahmud ended with 2-27 but his fellow pacers like Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam put up a disappointing bowling effort.