Pakistan registered a five-wicket victory in the third and final T20I in Dhaka chasing down a target of 125 off the final delivery of the contest.
Heading into the contest having already lost the series, Bangladesh skipper Mahmud Ullah called it correct at the toss and opted to bat first in Dhaka. But they were again off to a poor start with Shahnawaz Dahani knocking off the timber of opener Najmul Hossain Shanto for 5.
Shamim Hossain and Mohammad Naim then embarked on a steady partnership with a few boundaries in between, before the former’s knock was brought to an end on 22 by Usman Qadir. Shamim’s eyes lit up seeing the leg-spinner into the attack, but could not get the desired connection to be caught by Iftikhar Ahmed.
A decent partnership would then inculcate between Naim and Afif Hossain, though not at a rapid pace. They would nurdle the strike around in the next few overs, without showing any urgency to take the attack to the Pakistan bowlers. Afif’s knock of 30 off 31 deliveries would finally come to an end, as he looked to up the ante against Qadir, attempting a slog-sweep only to find a thick outside edge.
With less than six overs remaining and wickets still in the bag, Bangladesh had no option but to increase the scoring rate. But this also brought about wicket-taking opportunities for the Pakistan bowlers.
They would lose four wickets in the final two overs with Naim (47), Nurul Hasan (4), Mahmud Ullah (13) and Aminul Islam (3) walking back to the shed in quick succession. Mohammad Wasim would end up being the pick of the bowlers for the visitors with figures of 2/15 as they restricted Bangladesh to an under-par score of 124/7.
In reply, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan would get Pakistan off to a serene start. Curtailing taking any sort or risks, they negotiated the Powerplay, scoring 28 runs without losing a wicket.
Babar’s knock would come to an end in the seventh over as he picked out the fielder at deep midwicket to perfection. It was a rank long hop from Aminul Islam and Naim made no mistakes in the deep. Rizwan and Haider Ali would then embark upon an important partnership, edging Pakistan closer to the target.
With Pakistan requiring 42 off 29 deliveries, Rizwan’s crucial knock of 40 came to an end with Shahidul Islam doing the damage. Rizwan chopped the delivery onto his own stumps and was visibly frustrated by the dismissal. Haider Ali though would do some serious damage in the same over, tonking Islam for two maximums. The equation would then come down to Pakistan needing 26 off 24 deliveries.
The match would then go right down to the wire with Pakistan needing 8 off 6 deliveries. But with a well-set Haider Ali at the crease, they fancied their chances.
There would be some drama in the final over though, as a dot delivery would be followed by the wicket of Sarfaraz for 6. It would be two in two for Mahmud Ullah then as Haider Ali attempting a big one, perished on 45. The decision to bowl the last over himself from Mahmud Ullah was turning out to be an inspired choice.
The drama would continue as Iftikhar would hit a massive six off the fourth delivery, before being out on the fifth. With 2 runs required off the final ball, Mohammad Nawaz would hit a brilliant shot for four to clinch a five-wicket victory for the visitors and help them complete a 3-0 whitewash.