Muhammad Hafeez majestic brilliant innings followed by excellent spells from Shaheen Afridi and Wahab Riaz was enough to see Pakistan level the T20I series against England in the final game played at Manchester on Tuesday.
Once again, England won the toss and opted to bowl first. Eoin Morgan changed his tactics and decided to bring in Moeen Ali in the second over. The move worked as Moeen Ali bowled Fakhar Zaman. Babar Azam looked effortless with his superb stroke play. He was dismissed in the 4th over as Tom Curran cleaned him up with a sharp in-swing delivery.
With Pakistan placed in a tricky situation at 32 for 2, Muhammad Hafeez and debutant Haider Ali came together and led the fightback for Pakistan.
In his debut T20I game for Pakistan, Haider Ali looked in exquisite form with the bat and picked up boundaries at regular intervals. On the other hand, Muhammad Hafeez also kept scoreboard ticking at a brisk rate.
Haider Ali and Muhammad Hafeez put on a 100-run stand to put Pakistan in a strong position to post a mammoth total on the board. Haider Ali notched up his maiden half-century and smashed five fours and two sixes in his innings. He was dismissed by Chris Jordan in the 14th over of the innings.
Experienced campaigner Muhammad Hafeez continued his excellent form with the bat in this game as well. He put on crucial partnerships with Haider Ali and Shadab Khan to help Pakistan post 190 for 4 in their allotted 20 overs.
For Pakistan, Muhammad Hafeez was star of the show with the unbeaten knock of 86 runs off 52 balls with the help of four boundaries and six sixes. He was well supported by Shadab Khan, who chipped in with 15 runs off 11 balls.
For England, pacer Chris Jordan was the standout bowler on display and claimed 2 for 29 in his four overs.
Chasing 191 runs to win the T20I series, pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi dismissed Jonny Bairstow with a searing yorker to put pressure on the home side. Dawid Malan also failed to replicate his heroics from the previous game and played an expansive slog to see Fakhar Zaman take a brilliant catch.
Due to a terrible mix-up, Eoin Morgan was run-out to see England lose their third wicket with 65 runs on the board. Tom Banton played well and scored fluent 46 runs off 31 balls with the help of eight boundaries.
Pacer Haris Rauf trapped Banton in front of the stumps to see England slip into further trouble. All-rounder Moeen Ali came into this game under a lot of pressure. Left-hander certainly looked positive from the start and put on a 57-run partnership with Sam Billings to keep England in the hunt to win the match.
Sam Billings played a supporting role to Moeen Ali and chipped in with a crucial innings of 26 runs off 24 balls with the help of two fours and one six. Moeen Ali continued to play his shot and put on 44-run partnership with Lewis Gregory to see England get close to the target.
Left-arm quick Wahab Riaz dismissed Moeen Ali and then produced a brilliant run-out of Chris Jordan to see Pakistan make a stunning comeback in the game. Haris Rauf bowled a splendid final over to see Pakistan register a narrow five-run over England.
For England, Moeen Ali produced a valiant innings of 61 runs off 33 balls with the help of four fours and four sixes. For Pakistan, pace duo of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Wahab Riaz delivered splendid bowling performance and claimed two wickets apiece.
For his superlative batting performances, All-rounder Muhammad Hafeez was named player of the match and series against England.