A spirited Zimbabwe team held its nerves to beat Pakistan by one run in a thrilling ICC Men`s T20 World Cup 2022 Super 12 match that went down to the very last delivery at Perth Stadium, here on Thursday.
READ: Watch: Babar Azam’s ‘shell-shocked’ reaction as Zimbabwe beat Pakistan by 1 run
This was Pakistan’s second defeat in two games and their road to the semifinal has become difficult now. They had earlier lost to arch-rivals India in their campaign opener on Sunday.
Mohammad Wasim Jr (4/24) and Shadab Khan’s (3/23) clinical bowling performance helped Pakistan restrict Zimbabwe to 130/8 in 20 overs. The likes of Wasim and Shadab combined to bag seven wickets to trigger a drastic collapse, and were well aided by Haris Rauf (1/12) who proved hard to score off.
Chasing a below-par total, Pakistan lost the wickets of Mohammad Rizwan (14) and Babar Azam (4) cheaply in the powerplay and were in trouble. Babar was squared up by a lovely piece of bowling from Brad Evans to be sent back for just four runs off nine balls and the outstanding Blessing Muzarabani cleaned up Mohammad Rizwan via an inside edge for 14 (16) to give Zimbabwe a sniff.
Iftikhar Ahmed (5) was also removed cheaply but Pakistan seemingly got the match under control with a solid partnership between Shan Masood and Shadab Khan to reach 88/3 with six and a half overs still remaining.
But the inspired Zimbabwe all-rounder Sikandar Raza took two wickets in two balls to remove Shadab (17) and Haider Ali (0), before having Masood (44) stumped in his very next over to give Zimbabwe hope and set up a big finish. However, the likes of Mohammad Nawaz (22) along with Mohammad Wasim Jr (12 not out) were not ready to give up as Pakistan needed 11 to win off the final over.
Wasim’s crucial boundary brought the equation to three from three with the well-set Mohammad Nawaz at the crease. But, the 25-year-old Brad Evans produced three stunning deliveries right when it mattered.
READ: PAK vs ZIM T20 World Cup: Who is the Pak origin MOM who starred for Zimbabwe in nail-biting thriller?
First, Evans fizzed through a pacy bouncer that Nawaz failed to connect with. Thereafter, a miscue off the penultimate ball had Nawaz caught at mid-off by captain Craig Ervine, a wicket that saw both batters sink to their knees, with heartbreak again for Nawaz in the second successive match.
With three required to win, Shaheen Shah Afridi punted the final ball down the ground, tearing back in a desperate attempt for a second run to tie the match. Wicket-keeper Regis Chakabva fumbled the throw at first, but recovered to whip off the bails with Afridi still short of his ground, leading Zimbabwe to a thrilling one wicket win and sparking jubilant scenes among his team-mates and supporters.
Former Pakistani cricketers WasimAkram,ShoaibAkhtar and Mohammad Aamir was unimpressed with team’s performance. Here’s how they reacted.
What a shocker
— Wasim Akram (@wasimakramlive) October 27, 2022
from day one I said poor selection ub is cheez ki responsibility kon le ga I think it’s time to get rid of so called chairman jo pcb ka khuda bana hwa hai and so called chief selector.
— Mohammad Amir (@iamamirofficial) October 27, 2022
Agar Zimbabwe hai toh khud he ho jaaye ga sab kuch?
Nahi, khud nahi hota, kerna parta hai.
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) October 27, 2022
Sikandar Raza was the most successful bowler for Zimbabwe with his brilliant figures of 3/25 and he got ample support from Brad Evans (2/25).