Dubai: Pakistan registered an exciting 11-run win over Australia in the second Twenty20 International at the Dubai International series to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead and win the three-match series.
Pakistan, after posting a challenging 147 for 6 in 20 overs through Babar Azam’s 45 off 44 balls with three boundaries and Mohammad Hafeez’s 40 runs off 34 balls with three boundaries and two sixes, restricted Australia to 136 for 8 in 20 overs despite Glenn Maxwell’s breezy 52 runs off 37 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.
Nathan Coulter-Nile too chipped in with a quick 27 off 17 balls with three sixes but Shaheen Afridi, who bowled the last over with Australia needing 23 runs to win, restricted the Australians.
Australia, who had lost the first T20 match in Abu Dhabi by 66 runs put on a better show in the second match but that was not enough to win the series. The third T20 of series will be held on Sunday at the same venue.
Pakistan had won the toss and elected to bat. Fakhar Zaman and Azam opened the innings and the first boundary of the day came from the bat of Azam, who hit Nathan Coulter Nile though the covers off the first ball of the second over.
Pakistan lost their first wicket in the fourth over when Coulter Nile had Zaman caught behind by wicketkeeper Alex Carey for 11 with ball that bounced a bit. The experienced Mohammad Hafeez joined Azam . In the fifth over, Azam hit Billy Stanlake past backward point for a boundary and Hafeez too pulled him over square leg for another boundary.
The first five overs produced 40 runs.
Australia introduced Andrew Tye for the sixth over, who wavered in length, bowling two consecutive wide balls. Hafeez then picked another boundary past short fine leg off Mitchell Marsh.
Australia introduced leg spinner Adam Zampa for the eighth over and Hafeez lifted the first ball over long off for a six. Left-arm chinaman bowler D’Arcy Short was introduced for the ninth over and he bowled well and gave away just five runs. At the half way mark Pakistan were 69 for 1.
Hafeez pulled Tye for a boundary in the 12th over and the batsmen scored freely. In the 14th over Hafeez hit Stanlake for his second six but in the same over fell for 40 pulling to Short at deep square leg. Azam too followed by hitting Short to Aaron Finch at long off for 45.
Asif Ali hit Stanlake for a powerful six in the 17th over but fell in the same over for 9. Shoaib Malek came in and picked a boundary off Tye. Coulter-Nile, who was introduced back into the attack, had Malek caught at mid-off by Marsh for 14. With the fifth ball of that over he also took the wicket of Hasan Ali for a duck.
Fahim Ashraf hit Tye for a boundary and a six to ensure Pakistan a total of 147 for 6 in 20 overs.
Australia began their chase through D’Arcy Short and Finch. Short got run out for 2 in the third over despite grounding his bat through a debatable third umpire decision. Next man Chris Lynn hit Faheem Ashraf for a six but fell in the next over to Imad Wasim.
He played a bit early to the shot and landed up being caught brilliantly by a diving Shadab Khan at cover for 7. Leg spinner Shadab, who was introduced for the seventh over, ended danger man Finch’s innings by having him caught by Zaman for 3 at long on.
Three down for 31 in 6.3 overs, Pakistan began to take control.
Australia’s hopes rested on Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell. At the half way mark Australia were 53 for 3 still needing 95 runs to win. Marsh pulled Hasan Ali for a boundary in the 11th over. Shadab ended Marsh’s knock by having him caught behind for 21 off 23 balls in the 12th over. Off spinner Hafeez, who was introduced in the 13th over had Carey caught by Zaman for 1.
Half the Australian side were back in the pavilion and still they needed 86 runs needed from 45 balls. Maxwelll on 18 escaped being caught when Imad at mid-off dropped him off Shaheen Afridi but in the same over Ben McDermott got run out. In the last five overs, Australia needed 70 runs from the last five overs.
Maxwell and Coulter Nile hit one six each off Shadab Khan in the 16th over. Maxwell on 34 got dropped by Hafeez at cover boundary off Hasan Ali. He hit Afridi for a straight six and reached his half century in 33 balls.
Australia needed 33 runs in the last two overs and 23 runs off the last over. Coulter-Nile hit the first ball from Afridi for a six but Maxwell fell to the third ball, caught by Malek at long on for 52 ending all hopes of a victory. Imad Wasim, who gave away only eight runs from his four overs and took one wicket was awarded man of the match.
Pakistan bt Australia by 11 runs. Pakistan 147 for 6 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 45, Mohammad Hafeez 40, Nathan Coulter-Nile 3 for 18, Billy Stanlake 2 for 36) Australia 136 for 8 in 20 overs (Mitchell Marsh 21, Glenn Maxwell 52, Shadab Khan 2 for 30, Shaheen Afridi 2 for 35) Man of the match: Imad Wasim