Zimbabwe won the final ODI — restricting Pakistan from a clean sweep — after beating the Green Shirts in the Super Over at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
Pakistan limited-overs captain Babar Azam has explained the team’s decision to send all-rounder Iftikhar Ahmed, debutant Khushdil Shah and opener Fakhar Zaman for the super over against Zimbabwe in Rawalpindi on Tuesday.
Pacer Blessing Muzarabani took career-best figures of 5/49 as Zimbabwe defeated Pakistan in a thrilling super over finish in the third and final ODI of the series.
The actual match finished in a tie after tailender Musa Khan hit the final delivery of the 50th over from Richard Ngarava for a boundary to level the scores at 278.
But player of the match Muzarabani dismissed Iftikhar and Khushdil for two runs on four balls in the super over which Zimbabwe scored off just three balls without any loss.
“The mistakes I made as a captain, I’ll ensure I don’t make again. In the Super Over, the players we sent we did after thinking through carefully,” said Azam.
“These are our finishers. They are power-hitters, and we sent Iftikhar because we wanted a left-right combination. Unfortunately, he could not finish it off, but it happens sometimes.”
Azam, who finished with a run-a-ball 125 with 13 boundaries and a six, led Pakistan’s fightback and stood firm after Pakistan were set a daunting 279-run target. He added a match turning 100 for the seventh wicket with Wahab Riaz who made 52.
“The aim is to learn something from every match. We needed more partnerships up at top. Once Wahab (Riaz) and I got our partnership (for the seventh wicket) going. I was hoping we would finish the game, so it hurts,” he said.
“But it’s not just about our mistakes. We need to give Zimbabwe credit. I thought we bowled well but a couple of things made the difference, like a few misfields and dropped catches. There’s a time when our bowling quality dropped from what it was at the start of the match, but that’s also because they put us under pressure,” he added.
Despite the defeat Pakistan won the three-match series 2-1.