Pakistan held their nerve to win a thrilling Twenty20 international against Australia off the final ball of a super over, after the match finished in a tie on Friday.
Australia, through David Warner, Shane Watson and captain George Bailey, scored 11 from an Umar Gul over before Umar Akmal and Abdul Razzaq took 12 from the bowling of Patrick Cummins to seal the three-match series with a game in hand.
The thrilling climax followed an equally dramatic run-chase by Australia as they replied to Pakistan’s 151 for four.
Australia required 31 from three overs, 21 from two and 10 in the last over, bowled by Razzaq.
The all-rounder dismissed Bailey with the first delivery, brilliantly caught by substitute fielder Yasir Arafat at deep midwicket, and conceded only three runs from his next three.
With seven required from two deliveries, Cummins on-drove a six to tie the scores and put his side in charge.
However, off the final ball Cummins got a leading edge to a full-toss and Imran Nazir held on to a steepling catch at mid-off to send the capacity crowd of 25,000, the first sell-out in the history of the Dubai International Stadium, into raptures.
“I was always very confident and all the time I had belief in the boys that we would win,” Pakistan captain Mohammed Hafeez said. “It’s a great sign for me that everyone is responding so well, especially under pressure, and it’s very pleasing for me as captain. Everyone’s getting confidence and I’m very proud.”
Bailey, on his 30th birthday, appeared to be piloting his side to victory as he top-scored with 42 from 27 balls.
Pakistan opted to bat after winning the toss and their total was built around a solid second-wicket partnership of 76 in 11 overs between Hafeez (45) and Nasir Jamshed (45), before Kamran Akmal smashed an unbeaten 43 from just 26 balls.
Australia started positively as Warner made 31 from 19 balls. With Watson scoring 33 and Mike Hussey 27, they were 79 for one at the halfway stage and looked set to level the series following their seven-wicket loss on Wednesday.
However, their momentum was stalled by Ajmal, as he removed Warner and Watson and finished with two for 20 from four overs.
The one sour note for Pakistan was that Ajmal left the field after completing his spell, complaining of a sore left shoulder.
He will be assessed before a decision is made on his fitness for the final match of the series tomorrow.