Fakhar Zaman won Player of the Series award

Doug Mendoza
July 12, 2018

They huff and puff and heave and swing at the ball as if they mean to rip the leather clean off it.

That was in a major part due to Fakhar Zaman. Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed justifiable frustrated, refused to give in and would soon be smiling to see his team responding so well, more so with a breath taking catch by Shadab Khan, to send back Alex Carey. Billy's been good throughout the series. "If he keeps playing like this, he's only going up and up".

But he had a horror stretch in England, scoring just 36 runs at an average of 7.20.

Mohammad Amir was the highest wicket-taker for Pakistan, who picked up three wickets, while for Australia it was Glenn Maxwell who picked up two wickets.

"Slowly we're starting to find the right balance and a little bit more of an understanding of how each other play the game", Finch said.

"Hopefully I can get a few (runs) in the final".

And the Indian KL Rahul smashed his 2nd T20I to help India beat England in the 1st T20I at Old Trafford.

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Pakistan had a great game in their previous encounter against Australia. Flummoxed by Glenn Maxwell in the first over, they were 2 for 2 needing nearly 10 an over pretty much as soon as their innings began.

And step up they did, but then they do have some special talent at their disposal, without which the best-coached and captained teams of the world can not deliver when it's needed most.

Pakistan won the game with 4 balls to spare, registering their 9th consecutive series win.

"We know they're an emotional team, and they're a highly skilled team", said Australia captain Aaron Finch. "It just hasn't gone my way in the last two games, but hopefully a big one in the final". We had a chance to get up around that 200 mark and nearly put the game to bed after that start with the ball. All credit to Pakistan to force Australia to lose their way from 146-2 off 15.3 overs to 183-8 off 20 overs. For Pakistan, a 45-run victory over Australia in their last league match on Thursday 5 July will act as a morale-booster ahead of the final. "Hard work in nets is the main thing". He has been helped along by his captain, Sarfraz Ahmed, middle-order batsman Shoaib Malik and lower-order hitter Asif Ali, who have all made small yet useful contributions to the team's totals. Along with head coach Arthur, whose insistence for his side to play a new brand of cricket where fitness and performance go hand-in-hand, Inzamam has created the environment necessary for Pakistan to produce winning performances on a regular basis.

Fakhar has certainly made an impression on the Australians.

Whilst the young guns continue to inspire their team to greater heights, one can not underestimate the calming influence that the likes of veterans such as Shoaib Malik bring to the fold.

Capped by Fakhar's career-best 91 and Malik's masterclass, Pakistan had veered between ordinary to extraordinary all morning. Two balls later, Hasan shattered Ashton Agar's stumps, brilliance and farce bookending the over. But they're also the sort of team that can get themselves out of them. The remaining six sides will qualify from the 14-team ICC Men's World T20 Qualifier 2019, which will be participated in by the six sides from the ICC World T20 2016, which are not in the Top 10 of the ICC T20I Team Rankings as on 31 December 2018, alongside the eight qualifiers from the regional finals. "Or any global team".

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