Fakhar Zaman has scored 57 not out off 51 balls to guide Pakistan to an eight-wicket victory over Bangladesh that clinched the three-match Twenty20 series 2-0.
Fakhar and opener Mohammad Rizwan put on an 85-run stand that was instrumental in overhauling Bangladesh’s paltry 7-108, reaching 2-109 with 11 balls to spare on Saturday.
Rizwan scored a patient 39 off 45 with four boundaries.
Fakhar was watchful after captain Babar Azam (5) dragged fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman’s (1-12) delivery on to his stump in the third over, similar to his dismissal in the first match.
“Wasn’t easy to play shots early on, wanted to build partnerships and succeeded,” Fakhar said. “Thankfully we finished it off well.”
He paced the innings, especially after being reprieved on 26 when Saif Hassan dropped him at deep mid-wicket off leg-spinner Aminul Islam (1-30).
Shaheen Shah Afridi (2-15) and Shadab Khan (2-22) caused the damage to Bangladesh amid Najmul Hossain’s resistance after captain Mahmudullah opted to bat first.
Najmul struck 40 off 34, hitting five fours.
Afridi, replacing Hasan Ali, continued his habit of striking in the first over as he trapped Saif Hassan leg-before for a duck in the fifth ball.
When Naim Sheikh edged Mohammad Wasim to first slip Bangladesh were 5-2.
Afif Hossain flicked Afridi to six over backward square leg the first ball he faced. He also cut Wasim past point for a boundary as Bangladesh appeared to be in control.
But Shadab Khan stifled the innings and brought an end to the 46-run partnership when Afif’s premeditated reverse paddle cost his wicket for 20.
Najmul chipped in the air to give Shadab, who dived to his left to take an excellent catch, his second wicket.
Afridi and Wasim came back to their second spells to torment Bangladesh further, allowing them to score just 23 runs in the last five overs.
“We started well, Afif and Shanto batted well and we were trying to get a partnership but didn’t capitalize in the last few overs,” Mahmudullah said.
The third T20 is on Monday.