Pakistan completed a clean sweep over Bangladesh in the T20I series, winning the third and final game by five wickets after a thrilling final over at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium at Mirpur on Monday.
Bangladesh laboured to 124/7, but the going wasn’t too easy for Pakistan either in their reply, as they needed eight off the final over.
Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah came on to bowl his only over in the game, and dismissed Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali in consecutive deliveries before Iftikhar Ahmed smashed a huge six off the fourth ball, denying him a hat-trick. With two runs needed off as many balls, Iftikhar went for a glory shot but ended up being caught at backward point.
New batsman Mohammad Nawaz then hit a four through extra cover in the last ball of the match to take Pakistan home.
During their run chase, Haider and Mohammad Rizwan had put on 51 for the second wicket for the visitors. Pacer Shohidul Islam, making his debut, picked up his first wicket by removing Rizwan for 40. But Haider appeared to be in full control, hitting 45 off 38 balls with three fours and two sixes before his departure.
Earlier, Mahmudullah won the toss and opted to bat first, but Pakistan’s debutant pacer Shahnawaz Dahani, leg-spinner Usman Qadir and fast bowler Mohammad Wasim claimed two wickets apiece to restrict Bangladesh to a below-par total. Dahani took a wicket in his first over by removing Najmul Hossain for five.
Mohammad Naim finished as the top-scorer for the hosts with 47 off 50 balls. Pakistan, though, had wrapped up the series after the first two matches itself, winning them by four eight wickets, respectively.
In his only over of the match, Mahmudullah nearly changed the outcome, striking thrice. Yet, he couldn’t get the job done despite a late drama that turned out to be one of the talking points of the game.
When he released the fifth ball of the over, Nawaz, the batsman on strike, pulled out of his stance at the last moment before the ball went on to hit the stumps. It created a bit of stir with the umpire calling it a dead ball.
“I had just asked the umpire whether it was a fair delivery or not because the batsman pulled out late. I just asked this. Nothing else,” Mahmudullah said after the game.
“The umpire’s call is final and we do respect umpires. It’s a little bit heartbreaking, though. We went closer, but unfortunately, it didn’t go our way,” he added.
Brief scores: Bangladesh 124/7 in 20 ovs (M. Naim 47; M. Wasim 2/15). Pakistan 127/5 in 20 ovs (H. Ali 45; Mahmudullah 3/10). Pakistan won by 5 wickets.