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Pak thump sloppy Bangla for Twenty20 series win


Pakistan batsman Babar Azam celebrates after completing his fifty runs during the second T20 cricket match against Bangladesh at Gaddafi stadium, in Lahore, Pakistan, on Saturday. – AP/PTI
 LAHORE, Jan 25: Skipper Babar Azam and senior batsman Mohammad Hafeez stroked masterful half-centuries to steer Pakistan to a convincing nine-wicket win over a hapless Bangladesh in the second Twenty20 international in Lahore on Saturday.

Babar scored a 44-ball 66 not out for his 13th half-century and Hafeez made an undefeated 49-ball 67 to guide Pakistan to a modest 137-run target in 16.4 overs at Gaddafi stadium, taking an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Bangladesh again failed to put up a challenging total despite opener Tamim Iqbal’s 53-ball 65, managing 136-6 in their 20 overs after winning the toss and batting for a second consecutive match.

Pakistan won the first match, also in Lahore on Friday, by five wickets. The final match is at the same venue on Monday.

Pakistan were never in trouble despite losing opener Ahsan Ali in the second over, caught by Mahmudullah Riyad off paceman Shafiul Islam in the second over.

World number one Twenty20 batsman Babar, who was out without scoring on Friday, was in a punishing mood right from the outset, hitting seven boundaries and a six in his knock.

Hafeez, recalled after 14 months in the Twenty20 side, stroked nine boundaries and a six in his 11th T20 fifty as the two added 131 for the unbroken second wickets stand.

Earlier, Bangladesh failed to better their unimpressive total of 141-5 on Friday as they found Pakistan bowling led by paceman Mohammad Hasnain’s 2-20 hard to get off.

Opener Mohammad Naim fell off the very first ball he faced, caught behind by wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan off lanky left-arm paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi who finished with 1-22. – AFP

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