Pakistan survived a late-overs blitz from Glenn Maxwell as they won the second Twenty20 International in Dubai by 11 runs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series on Friday.
Friday’s loss was Australia’s third consecutive against the No.1 ranked Twenty20 side and it continued their horror tour in the UAE where they did not win any of the Tests and only managed a win against UAE.
Opting to bat, Pakistan were once again boosted by Babar Azam at the top. The right-hander, who smashed 68 in the team’s win in the first game in Abu Dhabi, looked in good touch and he was given solid support from veteran Mohammad Hafeez (40). The pair’s 70-run stand for the second wicket put Pakistan on course for a big total but once again the middle order floundered.
Nathan Coulter-Nile was the star with three wickets (3/18) and it seemed Pakistan would struggle to cross 140. However, as it happened in Abu Dhabi, the last over swung momentum towards Pakistan. Faheem Ashraf slammed a six and a four off Andrew Tye as the bowler leaked 15 runs in the final over to help the hosts reach 147/6.
In response, Australia’s top-order struggled against Imad Wasim and leg spinner Shadab Khan. At 73/6 in the 14th over, it seemed that Australia were going down but Maxwell, in partnership with Coulter-Nile, revived the visitors.
Together, the pair smashed 47 runs in four overs and both batsmen found the boundary with regular ease. In the final over bowled by Shaheen Afridi, Australia needed 23 runs and Coulter-Nile gave some anxious moments by slamming a first ball six over long on. However, the bowler responded by getting rid of both Maxwell (52) and Coulter-Nile (27) as Pakistan held on for the win.
The third match of the series takes place on October 28 in Dubai and Australia will be hoping for a consolation win.