By Azhar Khan
LAHORE: Pakistan pulled off a stunning victory in the final over, driven by heroics of Bilawal Bhatti to claim a T20 series against Zimbabwe 2-0.
With 12 needed off the last paceman Brian Vitori’s last over number ten Bilawal Bhatti hit a six and four besides taking a double to help Pakistan overhaul a stiff 176-run target in 19.4 overs.
Opener Mukhtar Ahmed hit his second consecutive fifty during his 40-ball 62 to entertain another packed 27,000 holiday crowd.
Zimbabwe had set a target of 176 helped by Sean Williams’s unbeaten 58 and Masakadza’s 49.
Pakistan had rested Wahab Riaz, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Muhammad Hafeez. While Muhammad Rizwan, Nauman and Emad were picked in today’s match.
The win added to Pakistan’s joy as the series marked the return of international cricket in Pakistan since terrorists attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009.
In the first T20, Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by five wickets before a 27,000-strong crowd, who battled 42 degree heat and stifling security arrangements.
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Team Pakistan wins T20 series 2-0 – first
on home soil
Bilawal Bhatti hits a stunning six off the first ball of Vittori. And here you go! Bhatti pulls off a thriller here!. Pakistan chases down target with two balls to spare.
Bilawal Bhatti 9 off 4 balls
12 runs needed of the last over
Muhammad Rizwan OUT at a crucial stage. Pak 164/8
Anwar Ali falters and departs. Pak 155/7
Pakistan require 23 off 18 balls
Anwar Ali comes to bat! Will he be able to take his team through?
Pakistani fans eye Umar Akmal for a perfect finish in the death overs, but their hopes could no longer stay. Akmal junior departs after falling prey to Mpofu’s slower one and got LBW. Pak 152/6
Pakistan need 32 off 24 balls
The game is getting closer and unpredictable at this stage. Pak 144/5
Afridi hits the six and does the usual the next ball and he is OUT. Skipper departs after 7 off 3 balls. Pak 139/5
Game gets tough now. Both sides are in the game. Pak 124/4
Pakistan need 59 off 40 balls
Pakistan crawling towards the target. Umar Akmal dropped on 4 runs near fine leg. Pak 113/3
Mukhtar Ahmed 54 off 34 balls
Umar Akmal 3 off 4 balls
Pakistan completes 100 runs in 11.3 overs. Mukhtar completes his another half-century. Well played, young man! Pak 108/3
Shoaib Malik RUN-OUT after scoring 7 runs. Pakistan senses trouble now! Pak 98/3
Mukhtar Ahmed 48 off 31 balls
Umar Akmal 1 off 1 ball
Malik and Mukhtar added another 8 runs to the scoreboard in the 10th over. Pak 92/2
Shoaib Malik arrives at the crease!
Nauman departs after short impressive knock. He scored 18 off 10 balls including two fours and a six. Prosper Utseya took the wicket. Pak 84/2
Nauman joins the party! he hit a smashing six off Cremer in the over. Another six was hit by Mukhtar. Pak 80/1
Mukhtar Ahmed 29 off 19 balls
Nauman Anwar 8 off 6 balls
Mukhtar batting superb with boundary and rotation of strike in every over, virtually. Pak 61/1
Pakistan looking to boost run rate with quick boundaries. Pak 47/1
Debutant Nauman Anwar comes in to bat
Ahmed Shehzad OUT after scoring 18 off 16 balls. Pak 44/1
Pakistan going 10 runs per over. Pak 40/0
Sean Williams comes into the attack
Ahmed Shehzad and Mukhtar hit a boundary each in the over. Pak 32/0
Pakistan began to attack in the second over, led by Mukhtar. Pak 18/0
B. Vitori takes the ball now
Chris Mpofu opens the bowling for Zimbabwe. Pak 3/0
Crowd roars as Ahmed Shehzad and Mukhtar Ahmed comes out to bat
Pakistan requires 176 runs to win
Sami bowls the final over. Zim 175/3
Afridi enters to block runs. He succeeded in doing so. Zim 168/2
Williams 51 off 27 balls
Chigumbura 19 off 5 balls
Muhammad Sami is now has the ball to contain runs flow. But he shocked the spectators after being smashed three consecutive sixes. Zim 164/2
Afridi comes in to bowl 17th over
On the second ball, Williams lofted the ball in the air but it landed in no man’s zone. However, Afridi produced another chance and a good catch was taken by Anwar Ali on the boundary.
Sibanda departs with just a run away in his half century. But, still a good effort! Zim 144/2
Bilawal Bhatti is now introduced to break the partnership is 59 now. The batting pair remains steady. Zim 132/1
Sibanda 42 off 35 balls
Williams 39 off 21 balls
Malik leaks 10 runs in his over. Zim 125/1
Anwar Ali is brought into the 14th over as well. Zim 115/1
Malik bowls another splendid over, giving only five singles. Zim 105/1
Sibanda – 36 off 31 balls
Williams 20 off 12 balls
Anwar Ali is asked to bowl now. The medium pacer was hit for 11 runs in his 2nd over. Zim 99/1
Shoaib Malik bowls another good over giving away only four runs. Zim 87/1
Afridi leaked 13 runs in the over. ZIm 83/1
Sean Williams comes in to bat
Malik got a wicket of Masakadza who scored impressive 39 off 32. Zim 70/1
Experienced Shoaib Malik has ball in his hands now
Shahid Afridi introduced himself in the 8th over to get the breakthrough. But in vain. He gave away 7 runs. Zim 66/0
Lala takes the ball now!
The spinner bowled a fine over until 5th ball. He conceded a six on the last ball. Zim 59/0
Imad comes in
I generally like balanced pitches… not these batting heavens they make these days. #PakvsZim
— Salman Wahidi (@SalmanWahidi) May 24, 2015
Powerplay ends: Zimbabwe are going good. They scored 50 in the batting powerplay. Masakadza is batting on 33 off 25 balls, while Sibanda has scored 14 off 12 balls.
Bilawal Bhatti bowled three wides in the over while leaking 11 runs in total. Zim 50/0
Debutant Imad given the fifth over. He conceded a boundary and leaked 6 runs in total. Not bad! Zim 39/0
Sami concedes seven runs in the over including a six. Zim 33/0
Bilawal Bhatti was brought by Afridi. Bhatti was smashed three consecutive fours by Masakadza on first three balls. 26/0
Muhammad Sami began second over with a fiery pace, conceding only five runs. Zim – 13/0
Anwar Ali concedes 8 runs in the first over, with a fine boundary from Masakadza. Zim – 8/0
Zimbabwe openers Masakadza and Sibanda march out to the middle.
Zimbabwe wins toss, elects to bat first
Imad Wasim, Nauman Anwar and Mohammad Rizwan in for Mohammad Hafeez, Wahab Riaz and Sarfraz Ahmed. So, Nauman and Imad have been handed their debuts. Two changes for Zimbabwe. Chibhabha and Utseya replace Panyangara and Mutumbami.
— Azhar Ali (@AzharAli_) May 24, 2015
Free metro bus service for spectators
The provincial administration has announced to run free bus service for spectators till 12 midnight to facilitate the visitors arriving at the stadium to watch T20 match.
Imran, Reham arrives at Gaddafi Stadium to support green shirts
PTI chief Imran Khan and his wife Reham Khan will arrive at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium to watch the T20 match between Pakistan and Zimbabwe. Another PTI leader Jahangir Tareen will also be present at the stadium alongside the couple.
Man arrested for scalping tickets
Police have arrested a man scalping tickets outside Gaddafi Stadium here. Strict security cover has been put in place to ensure prevention of any untoward incident.
Two suspects arrested from Gaddafi stadium:
Two suspects were arrested from Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium just hours before the second Twenty20 (T20) match between Pakistan and Zimbabwe. Law enforcers nabbed two persons from the stadium who had no documents with them. Police stated that one of the arrested persons identifies himself as Tanveer while the other speaks Pashto and did not state his name. They have been shifted to an unknown location for investigation.
Strict security cover in place outside Gaddafi Stadium:
Fans awaiting live action: