Pakistan showed their mettle in Dubai as they narrowly defeated Australia by 11 runs in the second T20I to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Pakistan managed just a measly 147-6 in their 20 overs thanks largely to the contributions from Babar Azam (45 off 44 balls, three fours) and Mohammad Hafeez (40 off 34 balls, three fours, two sixes) at the top of the order.
Nathan Coulter-Nile was the pick of the Australian bowlers and finished with figures of 3-18 in his three overs. Andrew Tye was on the opposite side of the spectrum, going for 0-40 in his four overs – at an economy of 10 runs an over – as Pakistan limped to their low first-innings total.
The home team then got off to a blistering start in the second innings as they promptly dismissed the top three batsmen in the Australian lineup for just 31 runs within seven overs. Pakistan were energetic and accurate in the field for most of the innings with brilliant run outs and fantastic catches as they whittled away at the Aussie batsmen.
Imad Wasim bowled beautifully to put pressure on the Australians and restrict the scoring at the top of the innings. The left-arm spinner earned himself the Man of the Match accolade as he picked up 1-8 (one maiden) in his four overs.
It was Glenn Maxwell batting at five and Coulter-Nile batting at eight that offered some offensive Aussie intent with the two posting a resilient 59-run partnership for the seventh wicket to resurrect Australian hopes of winning the encounter.
The two lead a charmed life for a while as they survived plenty of wicket-taking chances that the Pakistani’s didn’t capitalise on. Shaheen Afridi silenced the Australian fightback in the final over of the innings, dismissing both Maxwell (52 off 37 balls, four fours, two sixes) and Coulter-Nile (27 off 17 balls, three sixes) in quick succession to finish with figures of 2-35 in his four overs.
Australia managed 136-8 in their 20 overs, finishing 11 runs short of Pakistan’s first-innings target.
Pakistan’s victory over Australia proved why they are the No 1-ranked T20I side by securing their 10th straight series victory in the white-ball format.
The final T20I will take place on Sunday at the same venue.
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