Pakistan pull off T20 win over Zimbabwe

Pakistan has pulled off a sensational last-over win in the second Twenty20 international against Zimbabwe in Lahore to take the two-match series 2-0.

With 12 needed off paceman Brian Vitori’s last over, Bilawal Bhatti hit a six and four to help Pakistan overhaul a 176-run target in 19.4 overs, securing a two-wicket win.

Opener Mukhtar Ahmed hit his second consecutive fifty during his 40-ball 62.

The win added to Pakistan’s joy as the series marked the return of international cricket in Pakistan since terrorists attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009.

Heavy security continued to remain alert with 4,000 policemen guarding the stadium as helicopters surveilled both teams’ arrival in the evening.

Mukhtar, who made a quick 45-ball 83 in the first match, put on 44 by the fifth over with Ahmed Shehzad (18) and another 37 with debutant Nauman Anwer (18) before Pakistan lost four wickets in quick succession.

Mukhtar, dropped on 15 and 55, holed out at mid-on before Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi – who both made seven each – and Umar Akmal (30) fell to leave Pakistan needing 24 in the last 4.1 overs.

Mukhtar smashed six boundaries and a six off 40 balls.

Anwar Ali (two) and Mohammad Rizwan (six) fell in the space of five balls before Bhatti’s heroics sealed the win for Pakistan.

The 2-0 win keeps Pakistan’s fifth place in the Twenty20 rankings intact while Zimbabwe remained as low as 12th.

Pakistan captain Afridi said he was happy that both matches were held without any mishap.

“I think its a matter of great happiness that both the matches went without any problem,” said Afridi. “The crowd was very good in both the matches and the win added to our joys which is great.”

Zimbabwean allrounder Sean Willaims said his team gave away the match.

“We are not satisfied with the result,” said Williams, who took two wickets besides his half-century. “We were short on few runs in both the matches and dropped catches did not help us today.”

Williams hit a rapid 32-ball 58 not out with seven boundaries and a six and opener Vusi Sibanda 46-ball 49 to help Zimbabwe to a solid 175-3 after winning the toss.

Both teams will now play three one-day internationals on May 26, 29 and 31.

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