Rizwan plays a shot (L), leaves the pitch after an unbeaten 91 runs (C) and celebrates after scoring a half-century during the third T20 match at the Harare Sports Club on Sunday. AFP
Mohammad Rizwan struck 91 runs off 60 balls as Pakistan sped to 165-3 in 20 overs against Zimbabwe on Sunday in the third and final Twenty20 international match with the series level at 1-1.
The opening batsman scored three sixes and five fours as the tourists exceeded the expectations of captain Babar Azam, who believed it would be a challenge to surpass 140 on a bowler-friendly pitch.
Rizwan has had mixed fortunes in the series, posting an unbeaten 82 in the first match but only 13 in the second.
Mohammad Rizwan plays a shot during the final T20 match against Zimbabwe. AP
After the loss of recalled Sharjeel Khan for 18 off the last ball of the fourth over, Rizwan and Azam put on 126 runs for the second wicket before the captain was out for 52 in the third ball of the final over.
Azam faced 46 balls in 64 minutes and his total included five fours as Pakistan chase a second T20 series victory on the tour having beaten South Africa 3-1.
Ryan Burl fields off his own bowling as Babar Azam and umpire Langton Rusere looks on. AFP
Medium pacer Luke Jongwe, the star of a shock 19-run Zimbabwe victory in the second match, was once again the most impressive bowler, taking the three wickets while conceding 37 runs in four overs.
The T20 series will be followed by two Tests, also in Harare, beginning on April 29 and May 7.
Pakistan managed 149-7 in their 20 overs with their in-form wicketkeeper batsman Rizwan anchoring the innings after they were sent in to bat.
Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi claimed five wickets while Wahab Riaz scalped four as the hosts managed to thwart a fighting Zimbabwe and win the first ODI by 26 runs in Rawalpindi on Friday.
A PCB press release said the World's second-ranked Twenty20 batsman Azam was hurt during a practice session in Queenstown. Coach Misbah-ul-Haq said, "He was taken to a local hospital where X-rays confirmed the fracture."
The selectors have included three exciting uncapped pace bowlers in 19-year-old Mohammad Wasim Junior, 20-year-old Arshad Iqbal, and 22-year-old Shahnawaz Dhani in multiple squads. Ace leg-spinner Yasir Shah will miss the tour as he is recovering from a knee injury.
Delhi will look extend their winning momentum and keep stranglehold on the top spot as they begin their UAE leg of the IPL against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) registered a comfortable nine-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their first match of the UAE-leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
The UAE’s Rashid Al Mulla is firmly on course for a fourth successive world aquabikes crown after recording a comprehensive overall victory at the Regione Sardegna Grand Prix of Italy.