CHRISTCHURCH: The pitch looked perfect for bowlers as, after Bangladesh, Pakistan's bowlers took the driving seat in the first match of T20I tri-series.
The bowlers in green were right on the money as Bangladesh's run-chase ended 22 runs short of the target.
Mohammad Wasim Jr made an impressive comeback from 62-run spell against England at home last week. The right-arm pacer started the proceedings by taking the wicket of Bangladesh's opener Mehidy Hasan Miraz after a solid 25-run opening start.
Mehdi, who was dropped on Haris Rauf's bowling, had to give up his wicket to Wasim after scoring 10 runs.
Haris, who often remains unlucky for dropped catches on his bowling, finally removed Sabbir Rehman on caught and bowled. The aggressive celebration afterward told the story.
Under pressure, Bangladesh looked for some resistance and it arrived in the form of Liton Das-Afif Hossain. The two batters scored much-needed 50 runs together to give some hope to Bangladesh.
Das notched 35 off 26 whereas Afif made 23 off 25 before they fell to Mohammad Nawaz and Shahnawaz Dahani, respectively.
A couple of quick wickets thereafter put Bangladesh's batting at stake once again. Nawaz picked up Mosaddek Hossain and Shadab Khan removed Nurul Hassan as Pakistan found its feet in the match again.
Yasir Ali proved to be a nightmare for Pakistan in the twilight phase of the chasing side's innings but no support from the other end overshadowed his efforts.
Impressive Wasim picked up three wickets, Nawaz spun two scalps whereas Shahnawaz, Haris, and Shadab shared a wicket apiece.
After deciding to bowl first, Bangladeshi bowlers maintained tough line and length to control the flow of runs and restrict Pakistan to 167-5 in 20 overs.
Mohammad Rizwan stood firm for Pakistan with his 21st half-century off 38 balls. The man of crisis for Pakistan helped his team recover from a couple of dismissals.
Openers Babar Azam and Rizwan scored 52 runs together in seven overs to provide a steady start to Pakistan.
First delivery of right-arm off-spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz did the job for Bangladesh as he bagged Babar.
Shan Masood, who was promoted to number three, batted sensibly with Rizwan and scored 31 off 22 balls at a strike-rate of 140.90.
Taskin Ahmed bowled brilliantly in last part of the innings as he conceded just 25 runs in his four overs. Haider Ali (6) and Asif (4) fell prey to Taskin. Iftikhar Ahmed (13) was looking good after hitting two boundaries but Hasan Mahmud removed him to bring Bangladesh back.
Rizwan improved his strike-rate in last overs when Pakistan lost a couple of quick wickets. Haider, Iftikhar and Asif walked off after their brief stay at the crease.
Wicket-keeper batter Rizwan tried to race his score as his strike-rate topped up to 156 in the end. He remained not out for 78 off 50 balls including seven boundaries and two sixes.
Taskin bagged two wickets while whereas Hasan, Mehidy, and Nasum Ahmed shared a wicket apiece.
Bangladesh won the toss and decided to bowl first against Pakistan in the first match of tri-nation series.
Pakistan have included three fast bowlers and two spinners in their playing XI.
Pakistan: Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Haider Ali, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Haris Rauf, Shahnawaz Dahani
Bangladesh: Nurul Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Afif Hossain, Musaddek Hossain, Liton Das, Yasir Ali, Taskin Ahmed, Hasan Mahmud, Mustafizur Rahman, Nasum Ahmed