Solomon Mire Australia Pakistan Zimbabwe T20 Tri Series 2018
Solomon Mire’s 94 went in vain © AFP

Pakistan knocked Zimbabwe out of the T20 Tri-Series in Harare in a closely-fought encounter on Wednesday, beating the hosts by 7 wickets with 5 deliveries to spare. Captain Sarfraz Ahmed saw his side home with an unbeaten 38, meaning that Zimbabwean all-rounder Solomon Mire‘s efforts earlier in the game went in vain. Mire struck 94, the highest score by a Zimbabwean in a T20 International, but Zimbabwe’s 162 for 4 was not enough to overcome the world’s top ranked T20I side.

Pakistan’s chase was given a rapid start by the openers. Haris Sohail and Fakhar Zaman took 56 from the Powerplay overs, but Sohail holed out soon afterwards. When Fakhar skied Mire to depart for 47, Pakistan needed more than 8 an over from the last 8 overs, but Sarfraz’s innings of calm precision kept them up with the asking rate. Executing his attacking strokes perfectly, he found the gaps and the boundaries whenever they were needed.

Sarfraz displayed a particularly deft touch with his late cut, taking boundaries off left-arm spinners Tendai Chisoro and Wellington Masakadza with the stroke. With 4 runs needed from the final over, it was also the shot he used to end the game, gliding seamer Christopher Mpofu to the third man boundary.

Pakistan will face Australia to decide the series’ winner on Thursday, though not before Australia play two other inconsequential matches.

Brief scores:

Zimbabwe 162 for 4 in 20 overs [Solomon Mire 94(63); Mohammad Aamer 4-0-25-1, Shadab Khan 4-0-24-1] lost to Pakistan 163 for 3 in 19.1 overs [Fakhar Zaman 47(38), Hussain Talat 44(35); Solomon Mire 2-0-15-1] by 7 wickets with 5 balls to spare.

Player of the Match: Solomon Mire.