Pakistan knocked Zimbabwe out of the Zim-Pak-Aus Twenty20 tri-series in Harare on Wednesday, beating the hosts by seven wickets with five deliveries to spare.
Captain Sarfraz Ahmed saw his side home with an unbeaten 38, meaning that Zimbabwean all-rounder Solomon Mire’s efforts earlier in the game went in vain.
Mire struck 94, the highest score by a Zimbabwean in a T20I, but Zimbabwe’s 162 for 4 was not enough to overcome the world’s top ranked T20I side.
Pakistan’s chase was given a rapid start by the openers. Haris Sohail and Fakhar Zaman took 56 from the powerplay, but Sohail holed out soon afterwards.
When Zaman skied Mire to depart for 47, Pakistan needed more than eight runs an over from the last eight overs, but Sarfraz’s innings of calm precision kept them up with the asking rate.
Executing his attacking strokes perfectly, Sarfraz found the gaps and the boundaries whenever they were needed.
He displayed a particularly deft touch with his late cut, taking boundaries off left-arm spinners Tendai Chisoro and Wellington Masakadza with the stroke.
With four runs needed from the final over, it was also the shot he used to end the game, gliding seamer Chris Mpofu to the third man boundary.
Pakistan will face fellow-finalists Australia on Thursday in a dead rubber before the final of the series is played on Sunday.