Pakistan rallies from 24/4 to beat Bangladesh by four wickets in first T20I

Pakistan recovered from a precarious 24-4 to beat Bangladesh by four wickets on Friday in the first of their three Twenty20s.

The match was in the balance with three overs to go, then Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz hit two sixes each and Pakistan reached 132-6 in 19.2 overs, knocking off Bangladesh’s 127-7.

Fakhar Zaman and Khushdil Shah launched Pakistan’s recovery with a 56-run partnership for the fifth wicket. They scored 34 each, removed in quick succession when Fakhar chased a wide delivery of fast bowler Taskin Ahmed to edge to wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan, and Khushdil was undone by a slower ball outside off by pacer Shoriful Islam.

With the visitors needing 32 runs in the last three overs, Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz pulled off a blitz to break Bangladesh’s stranglehold.

Shadab struck an unbeaten 21 off 10, hitting the winning six by slog-sweeping legspinner Aminul Islam over deep midwicket.

Aminul, one of the home team’s specialist bowlers, only came to bowl in the last over when Pakistan needed two runs for the victory.

Nawaz was unbeaten on 18 off 8.

Pakistan made a cautious start on the slow pitch before fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman rattled the stumps of Mohammad Rizwan for 11.

Captain Babar Azam dragged one on to his stump on 7, but Bangladesh failed to keep up that pressure to the end.

The damage was ultimately done when it was restricted to 127-7, continuing a poor batting record that haunted Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup. The team has lost six straight T20s.

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali, with 3-23, triggered a collapse, leaving Bangladesh at 40-4 in the ninth over.

Afif Hossain top-scored for the side with 36 and Mahedi Hasan was unbeaten on 30 to help the side get past 100.

The second match is on Saturday.

Barefoot at Barca: Dani Alves ‘living the dream’ after Barcelona return

Dani Alves was cheered by a crowd of more than 10,000 as he was introduced to Barcelona fans again on Wednesday. Stepping barefoot onto the field at Camp Nou Stadium, Alves said he insisted on returning to help put the Catalan club back on track.

The 38-year-old Brazil defender said he will be ready to fight for a starting spot when he is eligible to play in January.

“I come to compete, not just to spend time and live in Barcelona,” Alves said. “I come to play and to fight for a spot on the team. I’m not back just because I have a very good relationship with the coach or the president. With hard work I’ll try to contribute anyway I can.”

Alves was without a club since leaving Brazilian team Säo Paulo in September. He signed a contract with Barcelona until the end of the season, the club’s first campaign without Lionel Messi in nearly two decades.

A crowd bigger than the one that welcomed new coach Xavi Hernández was at Camp Nou as club president Joan Laporta introduced Alves, who took off the sandals he was wearing before stepping onto the field.

“I had to get serious with the president and insisted that I wanted to come back,” Alves said. “I knew I could help. Then I got a call from Xavi and everything after that was very easy. When you want something you can make it happen. Money is not the most important thing. It’s not time to think about money. It’s time to return to help Barça. Everything else is secondary.”