Persistent rain forced the authorities to call off the game between Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Persistent rain forced the authorities to call off the game between Pakistan and Bangladesh. Image Credit: AFP

Lahore: Pakistan retained their No. 1 ranking in the Twenty20 format after rain washed out the third and final match of the series against Bangladesh on Monday.

Rain arrived an hour before the scheduled toss at 1.30 pm local time before umpires called off the play much to the disappointment of around 5,000 fans at the Gaddafi Stadium.

Pakistan clinched the series 2-0 after beating Bangladesh by five wickets and nine wickets, respectively.

Bangladesh’s batsmen struggled in the absence of banned Shakib Al Hasan as well as wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, who opted out of the tour because of security concerns.

The No. 1 ranking, which Pakistan earned in January 2018, was under threat after the team lost eight of their nine T20s in 2019, but the recall of veteran batsmen Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez strengthened the batting line-up. Malik scored an unbeaten 58 in the first match, while Hafeez remained not out on 67 in the second game in two easy run-chases.

Bangladesh will return to Pakistan next month for the first Test, as part of the ICC World Test Championship, after agreeing to split the T20 series and two test matches into three phases.

The officials of both the national cricket boards reached consensus in Dubai this month during a meeting facilitated by International Cricket Council chairman Shashank Manohar.

The first Test will be played in Rawalpindi from February 7-11. After a break of almost two months, Bangladesh will play an ODI and the second Test in Karachi from April 3-9.

Late last year, Sri Lanka also split their tour to Pakistan into two phases when they played a T20 series in Lahore and then returned in December for two Test matches in Rawalpindi and Karachi, staying in Pakistan for 16 days.