Pakistan cruise into Super Eights with victory over Bangladesh by eight wickets
17:50 GMT, 25 September 2012
Imran Nazir powered Pakistan as they became the final team to qualify for the ICC World Twenty20 Super Eights with an eight-wicket win over Bangladesh.
Pakistan could afford to be defeated by 35 runs or fewer to make it through to the next stage, and knock out their opponents, in Tuesday night's last Group D match at Pallekele.
There were perhaps some doubts when Bangladesh piled up 175 for six, and Pakistan therefore had to make a minimum 140 to progress on run rate – even in defeat.
Job done: Nasir Jamshed and Kamran Akmal embrace after securing victory for Pakistan
Click here for the full scorecard from Pallekele
But Nazir (72) made a nonsense of those concerns, with the fastest half-century in this tournament – from just 25 balls.
Bangladesh, without a win against Pakistan in any format since their shock 1999 World Cup success, appeared to have been given a chance by Shakib Al Hasan's boundary-laden 84.
But on a batsman's pitch, Bangladesh's attempted defence of their useful total began badly as Abul Hasan put Nazir down at mid-on off Shafiul Islam when the opener had just one run to his name in the second over.
It proved to be an especially costly missed chance, Nazir eventually banking nine fours and three sixes.
Fine knock: Nazir scored 72 runs
Captain Mohammad Hafeez batted in his first-wicket partner's slipstream in a stand of 124, before both fell in the same over from Hasan.
Pakistan nonetheless completed their task with eight balls to spare.
Bangladesh earlier needed Shakib to carry their innings, after he had been part of a mix-up which saw their dangerman Tamim Iqbal run out towards the end of a powerplay containing 61 runs.
After Mushfiqur Rahim had perhaps surprisingly chosen to bat first, Tamim gave Bangladesh a promising start as Umar Gul suffered most – in one early over which cost 17.
Frustrated: Shakib had earlier scored 84 runs in vain for Bangladesh
But it was Shakib who ensured the innings had legs, hitting 11 fours and two sixes from just 54 balls.
He shared a stand of 68 for the third wicket with Mushfiqur, and departed only in the 20th over to Yasir Arafat (three for 25).
But it never looked likely to be enough, once Pakistan's batsmen got started.