Pakistan defeat Australia to clinch T20 series after Super-Over drama
Dubai: Pakistan beat Australia in super-over on the last ball of the second Twenty20 international to clinch the series 2-0 on Friday.
After both teams were tied on 151 following 20 overs, Australia batted first and scored 11 in six balls.
Led by Umar Akmal and Abdul Razzaq, Pakistan reached 11 on the fifth ball before Akmal hit Patrick Cummins`s last delivery and just made the non-striker`s ground before the throw. Akmal then pumped his fist and the team raced onto the pitch to celebrate, as the mostly Pakistan crowd of 25,000 went nuts.
"I was very confident and all the time believed we could win this game," Pakistan captain Mohammed Hafeez said. "It`s a great sign for me as a captain and for the Pakistan cricket team that everyone responded well, especially under pressure."
Australia captain George Bailey said such a tough loss would raise a lot of questions about strategy but at least was a better showing than the opening match, in which his team only managed 89 for its second lowest total in the T20 format.
"Whenever a game is that close, you obviously run through your mind all the different things that you could have done while we were fielding, batting and even in the super over," Baily said. "It raises a lot of what ifs but compared to the game the other night, we can take a lot more positives out of it. In terms of spectacle, a terrific game."
Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat first. After Imran Nazir was bowled for a duck on the second ball by Mitchell Starc, Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed found their rhythm and hit 10 boundaries together on their way to a 76-run stand.
It was only a stellar fielding play from Dan Christian that ended the partnership. He dived and threw down the stumps to remove Jamshed.
Kamran Akmal also teamed with Umar Akmal for a 46-run partnership that helped set a challenging target of 152.
Australia openers David Warner and Shane Watson put on a 40-run partnership but the team`s inexperience showed in the middle order. A run out removed Cameron White for 5 while Matthew Wade was run out for 6.
But Bailey helped bring Australia back, hitting a patient 42 for his highest T20 score to bring Australia within 10 of its target. From there, Patrick Cummins hit a massive 6 before being caught by Imran Nazir off Razzaq (2-9)
Saeed Ajmal, who left the match with shoulder problems in the 18th over, also collected two wickets.
In the super over, Hafeez wanted to bring out Kamran Akmal but he was cramping. Instead, he went for his brother Umar Akmal and Razzaq.
"I was very sure. I can send everyone in that situation," Hafeez said. "But at that time, I just felt that Umar Akmal can smash the ball anytime. Abdul Razzaq can hit the ball anywhere he wants."
Bailey chose to bowl Cummins.
"We thought they were going with the Akmals and my personal feelings are that they prefer the ball fuller than shorter. I thought Patties change ups and extra pace could cause more trouble," Bailey said. "That is one of those what ifs. If you win that game, then it`s the right bowler. If you lose, then anyone could have bowled it."
Cummins was clearly distraught after the match but Bailey said he felt the experience would help the young player.
"I`m not sure there are any No. 9 batsman to tie the game and he was really keen to bowl that over and that is something that is exciting from my point of view," Bailey said. "He will learn out of that ... I think his first four overs in terms of actual game were outstanding. On another day, he could have 3-20. I really like his last two games. I`m really excited about them."
The last match is on Monday.