Very few would have given Pakistan a chance to trounce Australia on Thursday (July 5) in what was essentially a mock final of the tri-nation T20I series.
However, riding on a collective batting display, Pakistan out-batted their opponents by a clear margin of 45 runs. Fakhar Zaman’s 73 was the standout performance but Pakistan would ensure they don’t forget to pat Asif Ali on the back for his late-over onslaught that ensured Pakistan finished with almost 20 runs more than what they seemed headed towards for most parts of the game.
Australia’s reply was one without any conviction as their best score came from their No.7 batsman. Although the loss would have no bearing on the final to be played on Sunday, Pakistan will use this like a magic potion that should help them forget the previous nine-wicket hammering they received from Australia.
Chasing 195 to win was never going to be a cakewalk, and for it to be, skipper Aaron Finch had to pummel the bowling again – something he did during his monumental 172 against Zimbabwe earlier in the series. However, it was not meant to be repeated as Finch departed early off the bowling of Shaheen Afridi, who was playing his first game on the tour. He got one to nip back in as Finch inside-edged it to the ‘keeper.
Earlier in the game, Pakistan who were inserted to bat, were helped by Zaman who was treated with a barrage of bouncers by the Australia bowlers. However, a lack of control over the bouncers saw Zaman take full control as he smashed three successive fours against Billy Stanlake, who suddenly seemed clueless after his successful outing in the previous game. Zaman’s partnership with Hussain Talat ensured Pakistan laid the perfect platform to put up a big score.
Watch Amir wickets here-
The victory would serve Pakistan a much-needed boost, especially after they had been trampled over by the same opposition earlier in the series, by nine wickets
PAK 194/7 (20 ov) | Fakhar 73 (42), Asif 37* (18) | Tye 3/35
AUS 149/7 (20 ov) | Carey 37 (24) | Shaheen 3/37, Amir 1/25
Result: Pakistan won by 45 runs