Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez joined hands with debutant Haider Ali to get Pakistan a five-run victory in the third and final Twenty-20 International (T20I) against England at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Tuesday.
After losing the three-match Test Series 1-0 and, it was Pakistan’s first victory in the 66-day tour of England. The hosts had won the second T20I after the first one was washed out without a result.
39-year-old Hafeez played an unbeaten innings of 86 runs off 52 balls, while the 19-year-old Haider scored 54 off 36 as the duo scripted a 100-run partnership after Pakistan were reeling at 32/2.
Hafeez’s knock was followed by his 69 in the previous match which England had won by five wickets at the same venue. In the middle of a brilliant run of form, it was the senior cricketer’s fourth 50+ score in the last five T20I innings.
Haider came into the crease after opener Fakhar Zaman was sent back to the pavilion in just the second over of the day by England spinner Moeen Ali.
The youngsters demonstrated maturity beyond his age as he joined hands with Hafeez, who is 20 years senior than him. The duo bailed Pakistan out of the crisis and added 100 runs in just 10 overs.
Chasing, England got off to a breezy start but kept on losing wickets as well. Inside seven overs, the home team were reduced to 69/4 with Moeen Ali and Sam Billings at the crease.
Ali was given a lifeline by Sarfaraz Ahmed, who failed to stump the former out. Ali had almost taken the match out of Pakistan’s reach with a 33-ball knock of 61 runs.
But when veteran paceman Wahab Riaz, in for the injured Mohammad Amir, ran out Chris Jordan and then caught and bowled Moeen, England were 174-8 with seven balls left.
They needed 12 off two balls when Tom Curran hit a six but it was all too late for the Eoin Morgan-led team.