Hasnain, Ali secure T20 series against Zimbabwe
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Hasan Ali picked up a career-best 4 for 18  AFP/Getty Images
Hasan Ali picked up a career-best 4 for 18 AFP/Getty Images

(ESPNCRICINFO) – Hasan Ali and Mohammad Hasnain saved Pakistan the blushes and secured them a T20I series win over Zimbabwe, who have gone 24 bilateral rubbers without a T20I trophy now. Zimbabwe had a chance of pulling off a surprise win and completing their third-highest-successful chase after Wesley Madhevere’s second career half-century took them to 78 for 1 at the halfway stage, well on track to reach the target of 166. But they were unable to maintain their scoring rate and it ballooned on them in the next few overs, thanks to pressure from Hasnain and Ali, who forced a collapse. Zimbabwe lost six wickets for 39 runs from midway into the 14th over and finished 24 runs short.
Ali picked up a career-best 4 for 18 and reached a landmark 150 T20 wickets as he finished as Pakistan’s best bowler on the day. He received good support from Hasnain, who got 1 for 26, as Pakistan recovered well after their other seamers leaked runs.

Scoring was more free-flowing than it has been in the series so far, with Pakistan notching up the highest total on a fresh pitch. Their middle order was not required after a 126-run second-wicket stand between Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan took them to a competitive total. Rizwan capped off fantastic white-ball form on this tour with his fourth half-century in seven T20Is and once again dominated the leg side. He scored 70 of his 91 runs in that region. Alongside him was Azam, who complimented Rizwan with runs all around and a milestone of his own. Pakistan’s captain is now the fastest to 2000 T20I runs.
Babar takes off

As much as there will be debate over which names will rotate through the big three (or is it four or five?) batters in international cricket, there could be none over one of them, which must occupy a spot at the moment. Azam added another achievement to his list when he became the fastest player to 2000 T20 runs, leapfrogging Virat Kohli and getting there in four fewer innings.
He got there with a beautiful drive through extra cover after dancing down the track to meet Ryan Burl’s legspin. That was the first boundary in his innings, and it came off the 21st ball he faced, and was followed immediately by another off a short ball and a third in Burl’s next over, when he hit a flighted ball over the bowler’s head. He was happy to play a supporting role to Rizwan, though, as he reached his 18th T20I half-century.

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