Despite the very real threat to their status as the top international T20 squad in the world, Pakistan made a remarkable comeback agasint Australia to win the tri-series final.
It was an improbable beginning that saw Australia at 0 – 95 with the bat at one point. At another juncture of the final, Pakistan was 2 – 2.
It is the final outcome, however, that matters, and Pakistan turned the tables and won with six wickets and four balls to spare.
Fakhar Zaman proved to be the undoing of Australia, who will henceforth be known in the six states as that Fakhar.
Australia set a target of 184 and quickly took two wickets in the first over as Glenn Maxwell took prime advantage of the rare opportunity to bowl with the new ball.
Maxwell spun Sahibzada Farhan for zero off a wide, causing the young debutant for Pakistan to fall without facing a stump-threatening delivery. Maxwell then had Hussain Talat caught at backward point.
With Talat dismissed, Sarfraz Ahmed was brought to the middle and things started to swing in the direction of Pakistan, who along with that Fakhar Zaman, the runs started to pile up for Pakistan, but when Ahmed run-out from deep fine leg, Pakistan was still staring up at an oval offering a 3 – 47 hole in the sixth over.
Fakhar, the form batsman of the series, combined with Shoaib Malik to put on 107 from 68. Fakhar’s tally was 91 off 46. The innings was punctuated by three sixes and 12 fours.
Pakistan went into its final 10 overs needed 105. Their cause was assisted by a 10-ball over from Jack Wildermuth who was wide four times and gifted Pakistan 16 runs.
With seven overs left, the complexion had changed from Australian whitewash to a chase for Pakistan that needed only 57 runs with 42 balls remaining.
Fakhar hung about until the end of the 17th over, but by this point, Pakistan needed only 30 runs from four overs to complete the chase.
When all was said and done, the score stood at Australia 8/183 to 4/187, leaving the complexion of the Australians looking pale and glum.