Talented opener Ahmed Shehzad scored a brilliant hundred as Pakistan predictably crushed hosts Bangladesh by 50 runs in a Group 2 league encounter of the ICC World T20 to keep their semi-final hopes alive here today.
The result also eliminated Australia from the tournament and Pakistan and West Indies will fight out for the second semifinal spot with India having already qualified for the last-four stage from Group 2.
Batting first, Pakistan scored a commanding 190 for five with Shehzad (111 not out) hitting his maiden T20 International century which was laced with 10 boundaries and five sixes from 62 deliveries. Shehzad was later adjudged man-of-the-match.
In reply, it was yet another listless show from Bangladesh as they could score only 140 for seven as they lost their fourth successive match (including last game in the qualifying round) on trot.
Umar Gul (3/30) and Shahid Afridi (1/21) kept the Bangladeshi batsmen under wraps as the home side never looked like putting up a decent fight.
The match belonged to 22-year-old Shehzad, touted as the 'Next Big Thing in Pakistan cricket after Umar Akmal. He was off the blocks in a flash as he blasted the listless Bangladeshi bowling attack with a wide array of strokes on both sides of the wicket.
The mayhem started in the third over bowled by Mashrafe Mortaza that went for 18 runs. Shehzad hit three successive boundaries. The first one was over mid-wicket, the next through deep square leg and the last one through the covers.
If that was not enough, he danced down the track to loft Mashrafe over long-off for a huge maximum. The second six was an inside-out six over extra cover. The opener completed his half-century off 30 balls.
Veteran Shoaib Malik (26) was the perfect foil as the duo added 82 runs for the fourth wicket.
After Mashrafe got the 'special treatment', another military medium bowler Zia-ur Rahman was slogged over deep mid-wicket for two huge sixes. Shehzad showed his skills as a touch-player with a late cut that went for a boundary.
Shehzad's ton came off 59 balls when he pushed Shakib for a single through the covers. As if it to celebrate the achievement, he sent a Mashrafe delivery soaring over square. Mashrafe had the worst figures among the Bangladeshi bowlers giving away 63 runs in four overs.
Bangladesh started the chase in their flamboyant manner as Tamim Iqbal (16) and Anamul Haque (18) getting 30 runs before Gul rattled the former with a quicker delivery. Anamul, as usual, was dismissed when committed to a stroke early giving Saeed Ajmal a simple return catch.
Shamshur Rahman tried to cut a straighter from Afridi and was caught by Kamran Akmal. When skipper Mushfiqur Rahim padded an arm ball from left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar, Bangladesh were pushed out of the match, reeling at 47 for four inside 10 overs.
Shakib entertained the crowd with two meaty blows but that was more of entertainment value than of any real purpose.
Shakib was out for 38 when Gul got him to slash one which was taken by Umar Akmal at point.