Rizwan once again as Pakistan post 167-5 against Bangladesh in T20 tri-series opener

Mohammad Rizwan maintained his rich vein of batting form on Friday with an unbeaten 78 as Pakistan made 167-5 against Bangladesh in a tri-series Twenty20 match in Christchurch.

Rizwan batted through the innings in cold, difficult conditions at Hagley Oval, tallying seven fours and two sixes in his 21st half-century.

His 50-ball knock dominated the start of a series, also involving hosts New Zealand, which the three teams are using to prepare for the T20 World Cup in Australia.

The world’s top-ranked T20 batsman, Rizwan didn’t offer a chance as he lifted his career average in the shortest international format to 54.34.

The 30-year-old wicketkeeper-opener is coming off prolific form in the T20 home series loss to England, when he compiled a series-leading 316 runs.

After being asked to bat, Rizwan negotiated an awkward-paced wicket which caused several teammates to miscue shots.

All five wickets to fall were via outfield catches, including two off Bangladesh’s best bowler, paceman Taskin Ahmed, who took 2-25.

Rizwan’s best support came from Shan Masood (31 off 22 balls) following an opening stand of 52 with captain Babar Azam (22 off 25).

Players from both teams regularly slipped on a surface made hard by unexpected weather conditions earlier in the week.

A cold blast left ground staff sweeping snow from the covers and outfield on Thursday morning.

Temperatures had climbed to a relatively warm 12 degrees Celsius for the start of the match.

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