Pakistan got their preparations for the 2015 World Cup back on track with a three-wicket victory over Bangladesh in Sydney.
The Tigers got off to a poor start when the returning Sohail Khan struck in the first over, removing Anamul Haque. Khan had a good return, taking 1-18 from six overs.
Bangladesh struggled to get going but, when Mahamudullah and Tamim Iqbal joined each other at the crease at 16-2, the duo gave their side exactly what they needed with a brilliant partnership of 168 for the third wicket.
Iqbal eventually departed for 81 and Mahumudullah was run out by Ahmed Shehzad for 83. Apart from that, only one player passed 16, Shakib Al Hasan with a quickfire 31 leaving Bangladesh with a decent total of 246.
Seven-foot bowler Mohammad Irfan wiped out the tail to finish with an impressive 5-52 while Yasir Shah also impressed with a solid 2-42 off his ten overs.
Pakistan's reply got off to a shocking start with both openers going early, leaving them struggling on 8-2. Younis Khan and Haris Sohail steadied the innings before the former was removed for 25.
That brought in man-of-the-match Sohaib Maqsood who guided his side to the end with a well-played knock. Maqsood kept solid partnerships with many of his team-mates including a stand of 51 with Haris Sohail (39), 63 with Umar Akmal (39) and towards the end a rapid stand of 41 with Shahid Afridi (24) off just 29 balls.
Maqsood got Pakistan home with almost two overs to spare to give the fans something to smile about after so many setbacks in their World Cup preparations.
Good news for Pakistan
Pakistan have lost key players Mohammed Hafeez and Junaid Khan through injury and have also possibly lost the services of the number one bowler in the world for ODI cricket, Saeed Ajmal. Ajmal has recently been cleared of an illegal bowling action, but his World Cup participation is still in doubt with the squads already submitted.
However, this win against Bangladesh is the perfect way to try and regain some form and consistency before the World Cup starts, in a memorable country for the Pakistani faithful.
They play England in their final warm-up game on Wednesday.
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