Pakistan took on rock-bottom Bangladesh in the hope of reigniting their T20 campaign as a win in this one would give them hopes of progression from the group.
Batting first, the Pakistani openers set about registering a big score and Ahmed Shehzad certainly contributed with the bat. His 111 not out, the most ever by a Pakistani batsman in T20, was a major factor in the their total of 190 for 5.
The bowling of Mashrafe Mortaza was particularly expensive for Bangladesh, who had to hope their batsmen would come to the rescue.
The opening few overs certainly didn't go to plan with all of the top order taken care of before 50 was on the board.
A respite from an all-out Pakistan bowling attack was all too brief, and with such a low run rate there was still well over 100 runs to chase with only six overs left.
Shakib Al Hasan did his best to take the game to the Pakistani bowlers but misjudged another of his big hits from the bowling of Umar Gul.
With Al Hasan gone, so went Bangladesh chances of winning the match and they laboured to 140-7 by the close of their innings.
The win for Pakistan has knocked one of the pre-tournament favourites Australia out of the competition and now means Pakistan's last group game against the West Indies is a "winner take all" scenario, with a place in the semi-finals at stake.
|Ahmed Shehzad||not out||111||62|
|Kamran Akmal||c Ziaur Rahman||b Abdur Razzak||9||12|
|Mohammad Hafeez||st Mushfiqur Rahim||b Abdur Razzak||8||12|
|Umar Akmal||c Tamim Iqbal||b Mahmudallah||0||2|
|Shoaib Malik||st Mushfiqur Rahim||b Shakib Al Hasan||26||23|
|Shahid Afridi||c Ziaur Rahman||b Al-Amin Hossain||22||9|
|Sohaib Maqsood||not out||1||1|
|Extras||(b 3, w 9, nb 1)||13|
|Total||for 5||190||(20 Overs)|
|Shakib Al Hasan||4||0||21||1|
|Tamim Iqbal||b Umar Gul||16||15|
|Anamul Haque||c&b Saeed Ajmal||18||16|
|Shakib Al Hasan||c Umar Akmal||b Umar Gul||38||32|
|Shamsur Rahman||c Kamran Akmal||b Shahid Afridi||4||12|
|Mushfiqur Rahim||lbw||b Zulfiqar Babar||2||4|
|Nasir Hossain||st Kamran Akmal||b Saeed Ajmal||23||19|
|Ziaur Rahman||c Kamran Akmal||b Umar Gul||0||1|
|Mashrafe Mortaza||not out||17||9|
|Extras||(lb 3, w 2)||5|
|Total||for 7||140||(20 Overs)|
Shehzad was the undoubted star of the show in Pakistan's win, his 111 not out peppered with some magnificent ground strokes and some almighty boundaries.
The Bangladeshi attack just could not get near to dismissing him and is the chief reason why they lost this match.
With Shehzad taking the majority of the strikes, it took until the middle of the fourth over before Abdur Razzak had fellow opener Kamran Akmal, who'd offered little resistance to that point, dismissed for just eight.
Captain Mohammad Hafeez faced just 12 balls before being accounted for via the good work of Mushfiqur Rahim at stumps, adding just eight to the total. Umar Akmal added nothing, which brought Shoaib Malik to the crease.
Shehzad continued to move the score along at a frightening pace and Malik was building nicely on 26 but went then for the ill-advised reverse sweep. A slip saw him out of the crease and Rahim had him beautifully stumped, 154-4.
That brought Shahid "Boom Boom" Afridi to the crease. And boom boom he certainly did, with 22 from just nine balls.
Along with some big shots from Shehzad, and some awful bowling in particular from Mortaza, Pakistan's total rose to a majestic 190-5.
The response required from Bangladesh was clear.
Things started relatively well as Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque knocked off some quick singles and a few boundaries.
However, things started to unravel for the Bangladesh side as first Iqbal was cleaned bowled by the fearsome Umar Gul and in the very next over Haque fell, caught and bowled to Saeed Ajmal.
The once boisterous crowd were hushed by the fourth over.
Afridi showed his class with the ball taking Shamsur Rahman with his very first delivery, and just three runs later Zulfiqar Babar removed Rahim lbw with a length delivery that the batsman had tried to take outside of off stump when it was pitched at middle.
With half of their innings completed, the total was at a measly 53/4, and a total change in attitude was needed.
Two huge sixes from Shakib Al Hasan raised the temperature again, but three overs' worth of singles that followed wasn't what was required at all.
As the batsman tried to ramp up the pace again, he was the victim of his own impatience. Going for one big hit too many, he only succeeded in slicing the ball into the grateful hands of Umar Akmal.
Afridi couldn't repeat his success in the following over but the very next one Nasir Hossain was next to fall.
Again, far too ready to go for the big shots, Hossain strode purposefully down the crease but missed the ball completely and was stumped by a grateful Kamran Akmal.
Just five balls later and Gul had his third of the innings, a fizzer catching Ziaur Rahman's top edge.
The last few overs saw a handful of boundaries for the hosts as Pakistan began to take their foot off the pedal, and a 50-run defeat for Bangladesh was probably about right on the day.
Cricket legend Imran Khan was quick to offer his congratulations and note the difficulties in this short form of the game:
Congratulations Team Pakistan 4 win over Bangladesh. In T20 there's no such thing as a weak team.Fewer overs means more chances of an upset.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 30, 2014
Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez said in his post-match interview, per ESPNCricInfo:
It is a great effort from the boys. Everyone knew how important these games were.
A special knock from Ahmed Shehzad. He was a little under pressure before the game, but the management gave him the support ... He has all the shots and today he showed it in his game.
Man of the match Shehzad also noted:
For me it's very important to follow the team plans. I didn't want to let the team down.
I stuck to my basics and delivered. I had a very good start and thought i can bat through the innings.
That remains the basis on which Pakistan can move forward in the tournament: Not to take any silly risks, but play with confidence and pick the right shots at the right time.
Gul is key with the ball and will need to try to take the West Indies big hitters Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith out early if his side are to have any chance in the game.