Nawaz’s 20-ball cameo between Rizwan and Babar take Pakistan home in Christchurch

CHRISTCHURCH: Pakistan geared up for Friday’s final against New Zealand with an impressive seven wickets victory over Bangladesh in the final league match of the T20I tri-series in Christchurch on Thursday.

Mohammad Wasim Jnr bowled a splendid last over to pick up two wickets conceding just three runs to restrict Bangladesh to 173 for six. Afterwards, Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam produced their eighth century partnership before Mohammad Nawaz sealed the match with a 20-ball cameo as Pakistan romped home for the loss of three wickets with one ball remaining.

Wasim finished with two for 33 though Naseem Shah was the most successful bowler with two for 33. Nawaz picked up one wicket for 27 runs.

Litton Das (69, 42b, 6×4, 2×6) and Shakib Al Hasan (68, 42b, 7×4, 6×3) put on 88 runs in 55 balls for the third wicket after Bangladesh were reduced to 41 for two. Bangladesh collected 41 runs in the four overs between 16-19 before Wasim pulled things in the last over as the Asian neighbours scored 44 runs in the final five overs.

In the run-chase, Mohammad Rizwan scored a 56-ball 69 with four fours, his 22nd career half-century, while Babar Azam struck nine fours in a 40-ball 55, his 29th career half-century. But it was Nawaz who closed the match with a 20-ball 45 that included five fours and a six.

Rizwan and Babar added 101 runs for the first wicket in 76 balls, Rizwan and Nawaz put on 64 runs for the third wicket from 36 balls.

Mohammad Rizwan was adjudged player of the match, his ninth award since February 2021 and ninth overall in 71 matches.

While Pakistan will be content with their third victory in four matches in Christchurch, they must be worried with the continued failure of Haider Ali. Haider had the platform to perform following a century first-wicket partnership, but was dismissed for a second-ball duck. Haider has managed only 24 runs in four matches with 10 not out against New Zealand being his highest.

Scores in brief: Pakistan beat Bangladesh by seven wickets

Bangladesh 173-6, 20 overs (Litton Das 69, Shakib Al Hasan 68; Naseem Shah 2-27, Mohammad Wasim 2-33); Pakistan 177-3, 19.5 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 69, Babar Azam 55, Mohammad Nawaz 45 not out; Hasan Mahmud 2-27). Player of the match – Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan). Friday fixture – Pakistan v New Zealand. TF REPORT

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