Heroism Bhatti with the bat give Pakistan second victory over Zimbabwe
LAHORE: Brilliant strike in the last over by fast bowler Bilawal Bhatti in Pakistan handed a narrow victory 2-wicket over Zimbabwe in the second Twenty20 series 2-0 here at the Gaddafi Stadium Sunday.
Bhatti hit a sixer on the first ball of the last over, and a limit on the fourth in a finishing nail biting for the match. It was given a special “sleeves of the most colorful match” award.
Mukhtar Ahmed, who scored a late inning of 62 runs, grabbed his second ‘Man of the Match “award in as many matches.
Mukhtar fell 15 and 55, holed out to mid-on before Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi – who both made seven each – and Umar Akmal (30) fell to leave Pakistan needed 24 in the last acquisitions 4.1.
Anwar Ali (2) and Mohammad Rizwan (6) fell in the space of five balls before Bhatti’s heroics sealed the victory for Pakistan.
The 2-0 win keeps Pakistan’s fifth place in the Twenty20 rankings intact while Zimbabwe remained as low as 12th.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Pakistani captain Shahid Afridi praised young performance including Mukhtar and Bilawal Bhatti winning the first series of T20 on the floor of the house in six years.
He also thanked the fans for turning in large numbers to Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Chasing 176 runs target set by Zimbabwe, Pakistan was on track to achieve a comfortable victory at some point with 95/2. However, the average signature to collapse turned the game into a real closeness with Pakistan contests go home with only 2 balls and replacement same number of wickets in hand.
Previously, Sean Williams hit a quick 32-ball 58 not with seven boundaries and a six and opens Vusi Sibanda 46-ball 49 to help Zimbabwe to a solid 175-3 after winning the toss.
Sami, Afridi and Malik took a wicket each.
Despite scorching temperatures of 42 degrees Celsius, a capacity crowd was assisted today as on Friday for the first game of the two-game series.
“We are very happy. I am here to support Pakistan and the Zimbabwe team,” said a Pakistani fan that the online waiting to enter the stadium.
A heavy contingent of police personnel was deployed at the stadium to thwart any untoward incidents.
Pakistan had not hosted any international cricket since the terrorist attacks on the bus of the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009.
The two teams will now play three one-day internationals May 26, 29 and 31 at the same location.