Fakhar, Malik star as Pakistan lift T20 tri-series title

HARARE: Pakistan thrashes Australia by six wickets in the final match of the T20 Tri-series to lift the title here on Sunday at Harare sports club.

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Chasing the target of  184 runs Pakistan lost early wickets against Australia in the final of the T20 tri-series.

Zaman shared in a century stand with Shoaib Malik as Pakistan recovered from an early wobble in their pursuit of Australia’s 183 for 8, and Malik then showed all the experience of an 18-year international career to see his team home with an unbeaten 43.

It looked as though Australia had produced a masterstroke in opening the bowling with Glenn Maxwell’s offspin as debutant Sahibzada Farhan was stumped off the first ball he faced and Hussain Talat sliced a catch to point three balls later to derail Pakistan’s chase.

When Zaman fell cutting out to deep cover, Pakistan still needed 30 from 24, but while Malik remained at the crease their chase was always safe.

Their ultimate victory capped a mixed day for Pakistan. Australia captain Aaron Finch was given a first-ball reprieve when he was dropped by Malik in the deep after top-edging a hook, and several misfields allowed any pressure with the new ball to be immediately dissipated.

Their errors allowed Australia to get off to a flier, with Finch putting together a 95-run opening stand with D’Arcy Short. Short was also dropped just after he had reached a 39-ball fifty, but he could not better his previous T20I high score of 76 and Pakistan’s bowling at the death kept Australia in check.

From 95 for 0 after the first 10 overs, Australia lost 8 for 88 and their 183 for 8 was not quite enough to better Pakistan in the final analysis.

Fakhar Zaman was awarded Man of the match as well as series on his brilliant performance throughout the series.

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