Another superb effort from the Pakistanis in the only Twenty20 match saw the shabby Bangladeshi side defeated, for the sixth time in a row, in all departments at Karachi today. Pakistan were boosted by some maniacal hitting from the middle order as they posted 203, and the usual middle order collapse in the Bangladeshi camp ended what has been a sad story for their supporters.
They say that the morning shows the day, but if Bangladesh's sorry state of affairs has taught you anything, you would probably know better. When the in-form Salman Butt was run out by Mahmudullah, and his partner-in-crime for the last few ODI's, Kamran Akmal, bowled by Mashrafe Mortaza in the very first over of the day's play, Bangladesh were right on top. They did, however, manage to lose the early advantage as Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq blasted Pakistan out of trouble. Younis was caught by Shakib Al Hasan off his own bowling at 47, but Misbah saw his team through as he only took 53 balls to score his 87, loaded with five sixes. Shoaib Malik joined in on the run-feast, and some late hitting by youngster Fawad Alam took the total well out of Bangladesh's reach.
As it is, the game of cricket often holds glorious uncertainties for those who give up on it. Not in the five ODI's that Bangladesh played in Pakistan, and not today either. Tamim Iqbal and Nazimuddin started well, with Nazim managing two sixes off two consecutive Shoaib Malik deliveries at one point. However, when the top three - including Mohammad Ashraful - fell, the rest of the batsmen hardly put up any resistance as a series of single digit scores put an end to Bangladesh's misery. Mansoor Amjad hit the last nail in the coffin as he picked up three wickets in his only - and Bangladesh's last - over.
In a way, this could be viewed as a respite for the young Bangladeshi side and its supporters now that the series is over. They would do well to sleep on their failures before going back to the office. As for the Pakistanis, this was an example of time well spent, and they would take the positives (lots of them) on to their next big challenge.