MIRPUR, Bangladesh: Opener Ahmed Shehzad struck a superb maiden century Sunday as Pakistan handed a 50-run drubbing to Bangladesh in a World Twenty20 Group 2 game and kept in line for a place in the semifinals.
Shehzad scored 111 not out off just 62 deliveries with 10 fours and five sixes as Pakistan piled up 190-5 after electing to bat. Pace bowler Umar Gul then grabbed 3-30 and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal took 2-20 as Bangladesh was restricted to 140-7.
Shehzad, who had a previous highest of 98 not out in Twenty20 internationals, added 83 for the fourth wicket with Shoaib Malik (26) as Pakistan utilized the good batting conditions after electing to bat.
Pakistan, the only team to make the semifinals in all four previous editions of the tournament and winner in 2009, has set up the league nicely.
The winner of the last Group 2 game between Pakistan and the West Indies on Tuesday will now advance to the semifinals as both teams have two victories each from three games in the five-team league.
India has already ensured a semifinal berth from the group with three consecutive wins.
Shehzad took only a few deliveries to bat himself in, starting an offensive with a couple of fours off seam bowler Al-Amin Hossain before going after experienced new-ball bowler Mashrafe Mortaza in the third over of the innings.
He smacked Mortaza for three fours and a six over long-off to quicken the rate of scoring.
Spinners Abdur Razzak and Mohammad Mahmudullah took a wicket each to slow the proceedings a little but with Shoaib Malik supporting Shehzad with some quick running between the wickets, the flow of runs increased again.
Shehzad hit Ziaur Rahman for two idential sixes over mid-wicket and two similar fours through the point region as the seamer went for 22 runs in that one over. The opener took a lot of singles and twos as he approached the three-figure mark but never let the scoring rate dip.
Shehzad and Shahid Afridi then produced a late flurry of strokes to further torment Bangladesh as Mortaza went for 24 in the 19th over to concede a total of 63 runs in his four overs.
"It's very important for me to follow the team plans," Shehzad said. "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 could bat through the innings."
Bangladesh's poor run in the tournament, which saw it lose to Hong Kong during the qualifying stage apart from a barren run in the Super 10, continued as its batsmen failed to put up a fight.
The Pakistan bowlers shared the spoils early on as the host was reduced to 47-4 in the 10th over.
Allrounder Shakib al Hasan, who had done well to take 1-21 in four overs earlier with his left-arm spin, scored a 32-ball 38 but that was never going to be enough.