Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Pakistan hold nerve to sweep series. Rizwan made a watchful 40 in the run chase.
Rizwan made a watchful 40 in the run chase.
Left a bowler short after an injury to Taskin Ahmed, Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah did everything in his might – including giving himself the final over with eight to defend and picking three wickets in four deliveries – but couldn't prevent Pakistan from sweeping the T20I series with a five-wicket win on Monday (November 22).
Playing with only five bowlers in the series left Mahmudullah little choice, but the captain ensured he had his pure bowlers bowled out in order to give themselves the best chance of pushing Pakistan. And they did manage to not let Pakistan get away, not until the 16th over anyway. That despite Mohammad Rizwan anchoring the better part of the 125-run chase with a measured 40 after losing skipper Babar Azam for 19 in a watchful start.
Just as Pakistan seemed to be gaining control of the situation through a 51-run stand between Rizwan and Haider Ali, the latter chopped one back on from Shahidul Islam to give Bangladesh a glimmer of hope, However, their joy was shortlived as Haider plundered two sixes and total 16 off the over to put Pakistan ahead once again. Taskin returned to bowl the 18th over for just four as Bangladesh again edged marginally ahead but 15 off the final 12 deliveries wasn't a tough ask for Pakistan's in-form middle and lower order.
Mahmudullah had eight to play with and he sure did give the opposition a panic attack by taking out Sarfraz, who holed out to deep midwicket after an attempted slog-sweep, and Haider on 45 after he miscued his pull to long-on. Iftikhar Ahmed deposited his first ball to long-on stands to deny the Bangladesh captain a hat-trick, and put Pakistan within striking distance of a series whitewash, but there was more drama in store. Iftikhar edged the very next delivery straight to backward point, making Mahmudullah an unlikely hero of this low-scoring thriller and giving Bangladesh a whiff of victory with a ball to go. Mohammad Nawaz, though, dashed those hopes as he managed to put him away through the covers when they needed two to win, and one for a Super Over.
Earlier in the day, for the third time this series, Bangladesh decided to bat first but couldn't quite produce the magic with the bat they'd been hoping to. After debutant Shahnawaz Dahani sent Najmul Hossain Shanto packing cheaply, Mohammad Naim decided to hold fort at one end and put on a 30-run stand with Shamim Hossain (22) and another worth 43 with Afif Hossain (20) to take their side past the 100-run mark in the 17th over.
Usman Qadir bagged both those scalps, but it was Mohammad Wasim Jr's twin strikes in the 19th over – including that of Naim on 47 – that dented Bangladesh's chances of surpassing the Game 1 total of 127 that's been their score so far in this low-scoring series.
Brief scores: Bangladesh 124/7 in 20 overs (Mohammad Naim 47; Mohammad Wasim Jr 2-15, Usman Qadir 2-35) lost to Pakistan 127/5 in 20 overs (Haider Ali 45, Mohammad Rizwan 40; Mahmudullah 3-10) by 5 wickets.