Mukhtar Ahmed scored 62 in a tense run-chase © AFP
Mukhtar Ahmed scored 62 in a tense run-chase © AFP

In a tense game, Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by two wickets in the second T20 International at Lahore. With this victory, Pakistan have sealed the team 2-0. Chasing 176 to win, Pakistan’s innings saw momentum swing like a pendulum.  To start with, Mukhtar Ahmed smashed 62 that helped Pakistan get on course. However, they kept losing at regular intervals which continued to dent their progress. Apart from his innings, there were short cameos in the middle. It was only Umar Akmal who hit 30 in the middle and kept Pakistan alive.

Once Akmal hit Chris Mpofu for a six in the 17th over, Pakistan looked well on course at 152 for five. However, Mpofu hit back by getting him out leg-before. In the next over, Anwar Ali was bowled. Things got very right and it was down to the eighth wicket pair with 17 runs needed off two overs. Zimbabwe managed to keep the pressure and then Mohammad Rizwan, the last recognised batsman, was dismissed. Live Scorecard: Pakistan vs Zimbabwe, 2nd T20I

Zimbabwe took it down to the last over. With 12 needed, Bilawal Bhatti smashed Brian Vitori for a six over long-on. Vitori then bowled a dot. Bhatti then got a brace and smashed the fourth ball for a four through cover to win the game. The crowd celebrated the victory, welcoming cricket back to their country. This came after Zimbabwe had put on a good batting performance.

Like the first T20I, Zimbabwe had won the toss and chose to bat first. On a good wicket, they managed to score 175, which was similar to their score of the first T20I. There were a few parallels with the first game. Hamilton Masakadza smashed his way upfront and put them on course to a good score. However, he could not carry on to score big and was dismissed for 39. Live Blog: Pakistan vs Zimbabwe, 2nd T20I

Vusi Sibanda held the innings together with his innings of 49. His slow batting in the slog overs was inhibiting them and he was out at an opportune time as Zimbabwe needed impetus. Meanwhile, Sean Williams got into the act. Pulling, cutting and reverse-sweeping his way, Williams went on to get a 26-ball fifty that helped Zimbabwe push on to a good score. Elton Chigumbura managed to help with, most notably hitting three consecutive sixes off Mohammad Sami in the 18th over. Shoaib Malik was the best bowler for Pakistan with figures of one for 23.

Brief scores:

Zimbabwe 175 for 3 in 20 overs (Vusi Sibanda 49, Sean Williams 57*; Mohammad Sami 1 for 37, Shoaib Malik 1 for 23 ) lost to Pakistan 176 for 8 (Mukhtar Ahmed 62, Umar Akmal 30; Chris Mpofu 2 for 25, Sean Williams 2 for 32) by 2 wickets.

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(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)