Butt and Akmal spur Pakistan

ICC World Twenty20 West Indies 2010

Mushfiqur Rahim & Salman Butt

Salman Butt, with a rapid 73, gets Pakistan's World Twenty20 campaign up and running in style during an opening partnership of 142

Pakistan's ICC World Twenty20 title defence began with a 21-run win over Bangladesh at the Beausejour Stadium in St Lucia.

Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal set up victory with 73 apiece in an opening stand of 142 to help Pakistan to an imposing 172 for three, which proved too much for the Tigers despite a spirited pursuit.

Mohammad Ashraful and skipper Shakib Al Hasan, who made 65 and 47 respectively, threatened to cause an upset during a 91-run stand for the third wicket, but once they fell the chase disintegrated.

Pakistan paceman Mohammad Sami was the pick of the bowlers with 3-29, including the key wicket of Shakib.

Bangladesh's chase started badly when Imrul Kayes fell for a duck in the first over, top-edging Mohammad Aamer to Misbah-ul-Haq at short third man.

Fellow opener Tamim Iqbal followed for 19 when he offered the simplest of return catches to Mohammad Hafeez, but the Tigers stayed in touch thanks to Ashraful and Shakib’s enterprising alliance.

They batted with craft and looked like they may also prove match-winners when they took 17 from the 14th over, bowled by Hafeez.

Shakib twice cleared the ropes in the over while Ashraful brought up his fifty to leave the Tigers needing 59 from the last six overs.

But Sami returned to the attack and immediately removed Shakib, caught by Umar Akmal at long-on, before Mahmadullah followed without scoring in the same over.

Ashraful swiped Shahid Afridi for six to ensure Pakistan remained nervous, but when he was caught by wicketkeeper Akmal off Aamer the wheels fell off the Bangladesh chase as they finished on 151 for seven.

Earlier, Butt and Kamran Akmal's partnership occupied just 95 balls and laid the platform for a sizeable total.

Butt was first to his half-century when, after clubbing Suhrawadi Shuvo over the midwicket fence, he stroked the next ball for a single that also brought up the 100-run stand from 70 balls.

Kamran Akmal was celebrating his own fifty two balls later with a straight-driven four, but he fell when he miscued a Shakib full toss to point.

Afridi, elevated up the order, made just nine and Butt followed in the penultimate over when he missed a reverse paddle sweep to be bowled by Shafiul Islam. His innings spanned just 46 balls and contained eight fours and two sixes.

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