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Butt inspires Pakistan to victory

May 02, 2010 14:04 IST

Salman ButtSalman Butt, for long, is the pivot around which Pakistan's batting revolves. He is the most consistent Twenty20 player for them and he proved it yet again why he is the 'go-to' man for Shahid Afridi.

Pakistan, who were coming into the tournament after turmoil back home, were thoroughly professional in their approach and Butt ensured that the defending champions started their campaign on a winning note against Bangladesh, scoring a breezy 73 off 46-balls.

Butt, who had been out of form recently, produced one of the best innings, taking attack to the opposition. On a slow pitch and a slow out filed, he and Kamran Akmal made batting look ridiculously easy, hitting the bowlers to all corners of the park.

He was particularly severe on the spinners -- Abdur Razzaq and Shakib Al Hasan, scoring at will.

On a slow St. Lucia pitch, Butt along with Akmal, put on a magnificent 142-run stand, which paved way for their victory.

Butt, in particular, was fluent in his innings and played orthodox cricket shots during his knock, which helped Pakistan post a competitive 172 for 3.

In reply, Bangladesh did put up a brave fight, courtesy Mohammad Ashraful and Shakib Al Hasan, who were not overawed by the situation.

Ashraful hit a stylish 65 off 49 balls, featuring three sixes and was supported by Shakib Al Hasan, as the pair added 91 for the third wicket to give Pakistan cause for concern.

Mohammad Sami, however, playing his first Twenty20 international, swung the momentum back in favour of his team with two wickets in one over.