PALLEKELE: Pakistan defeated Bangladesh by eight wickets in a high-scoring Group D match to qualify for the next stage of Super Eight in the ICC World Twenty20 Cricket 2012 here at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
Chasing a rather difficult target of 176, Pakistan easily completed their second consecutive victory losing just two wickets with eight balls remaining.
Imran Nazir and captain Mohammad Hafeez batted brilliantly to make 124 runs. This was Pakistan’s second opening partnership and the fourth for any wicket in T20 International cricket.
Imran smashed 72 off 36 balls with three sixes and nine fours whereas Hafeez made 45 with six fours.
Nasir Jamshed and Kamran Akmal scored 29 and 22, respectively and both remained not out.
Earlier, allrounder Shakib Al Hasan smashed a 54-ball 84 to steer Bangladesh to 175-6 in the allotted 20 overs after captain Mushfiqur Rahim won the toss and decided to bat first.
This was the 25-year-old left-hander’s second Twenty20 fifty as he added 68 runs for the third wicket with skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (25).
Shakib, whose previous T20 best of 57 came against Ireland at Belfast earlier this year, smashed 11 boundaries and two sixes during his 54-ball knock, improving Nazimuddin's previous best of 81, against Pakistan at Nairobi in 2007.
Pakistan were sloppy in the field, with Sohail Tanveer dropping a sitter off Rahim and Shahid Afridi failing to hold on to a sharp chance off Hasan -- both in one Yasir Arafat over.
New Zealand had already qualified for the round of eight from Group D.
Now Pakistan will play their first match in Super Eight against South Africa on September 28. Later they will face India on September 30 and Australia on October 2.