England escaped defeat to win the 3rd T20I against Pakistan in a Super Over in Sharjah amid great chaos and a string of errors. It was a nerve-wrecking encounter that swayed both ways till the very last moment. With the victory, England completed a 3-0 whitewash over Pakistan in the shortest format of the game.
Chasing a modest 155 to win, Pakistan were off to one of the most disastrous starts one could think of, losing two wickets in the first over itself and were 3 down for just 11 on the board in the 3rd over. Shoaib Malik, with a superb half-century, and Mohd Rizwan sparked a bit of a revival in the chase put the later was dismissed soon, and Pakistan were left reeling at 4/55 after 10 overs, needing a further 100 to avoid the whitewash.
Umar Akmal did not last long and departed after scoring mere four runs off 9 balls. With 65 runs on the board and half of the team back to the pavilion, most of the analysts must have written them off.
However, proceedings later proved that green shirts are the most unpredictable team in world cricket captained by the most unpredictable man of cricket, Shahid Afridi. Malik and Afridi started heaving the England bowlers all around the park till Afridi was out for a quickfire 29, with Pakistan still needing 27 off 15, but the defiant Malik kept on going strong. Malik brought down the equation to 10 off the last over and visiting captain Morgan called up in-form David Willey to bowl the last over.
After Sohail Tanvir hit Willey for a six, Pakistan needed just two from 2 with Malik on strike, but he holed out to long on and in the safe hands of Sam Billings. Tanvir could only manage a leg-bye off the last delivery leaving the scores at level.
In a rather dull affair, Pakistan’s batters, Afridi, and Akmal struggled to put bat to ball and could manage just three runs in the super over, 2 of which were leg byes. It was a bit surprising to see that Pakistan decided that Malik should warm the bench after such a wonderfully struck 75.
Later, England’s captain Morgan kept his cool to score the winning runs off the 5th ball, thanks to a fielding mishap by Anwar Ali, who could have taken the game to the last ball only by collecting the throw cleanly.
Earlier, Debutant Aamer Yamin picked up the wicket of Jason Roy off the first ball of the match and his career after England won the toss and elected to bat first. Joe Root came in and struck a cameo to take England to 48-2 at the end of the powerplay. Visitors kept on losing wickets after regular intervals till Chris Woakes came in and smashed some hefty blows in his 24-ball-37 to lift the score to 154. Opener James Vince played the role of sheet anchor before being dismissed for a steady 46 off the penultimate delivery. Shahid Afridi picked up two crucial wickets for just 19 runs in his allotted quota of 4 overs.
After doing all the hard work, Pakistan perhaps paid the price for reacting poorly in crucial situations such as Malik opting for a heave to finish the game in grand style when only 2 were required off the last two deliveries. Sending in Umar Akmal to bat in place of Shoaib Malik in the super over and then Anwar failing to collect the throw cleanly to deny England a win off the penultimate ball also contributed to their loss.