Pakistan’s superb comeback win over Sri Lanka in the second T20 at Colombo was their third highest chase in their T20 history. Chasing a tough target of 173 to win, all hope seemed lost of Pakistan as they crumbled to 40 for 5. However, the visitors made an unbelievable comeback with Shahid Afridi smashing a brilliant 45 from 22 balls with one four and four sixes. Anwar Ali did even better with 46 from 17 balls, blasting three fours and four sixes. Imad Wasim chipped in with an unbeaten 24 from 14 as Pakistan won in the last over. Here’s a look at Pakistan’s other top four chases in T20s.
178 for 2 against Bangladesh at Pallekele: Pakistan achieved their best T20 chase during the 2012 ICC World T20. Bangladesh batted first, and finished on an impressive 175 for 6 with Shakib Al Hasan blasting 84 from 54 balls with 11 fours and two sixes. Pakistan however chased it down with ease as Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Nazir added 124 for the opening wicket. Nazir smashed 72 from merely 36 balls with 9 fours and three sixes. Hafeez was more steady with 45 from 47, but Pakistan eased to win by eight wickets.
176 for 8 against Zimbabwe at Lahore: This victory came during a T20 played in May this year. A fantastic batting performance saw Zimbabwe get 175 for 3. Sean Williams stood out with an unbeaten 58 from 32 balls. Openers Vusi Sibanda and Hamilton Masakadza made 49 and 39 respectively. Pakistan’s chase was led by opener Mukhtar Ahmed, who hit 62 from 40 balls, with six fours and a six. Umar Akmal made a quick 30 from 21 before a cameo from Bilawal Bhatti took them home.
173 for 5 against Zimbabwe at Lahore: Pakistan had chased down 170 plus in the first T20 of the series as well. They reached the target in the last over. Again, Pakistan’s opener Mukhtar Ahmed was the standout performer as he made 83 from 45 balls with 12 fours and 3 sixes. Ahmed was well aided by Ahmed Shehzad, who hit 55 from 39 balls. The openers added 142 inside 14 overs as Pakistan won by five wickets. Earlier, Elton Chigumbura made 54 from 35 balls for Zimbabwe, but it ended up in vain.
165 for 4 against Australia at Johannesburg: Pakistan achieved this target during the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007. Misbah-ul-Haq and Shoaib Malik made unbeaten fifties to take Pakistan home. Skipper Malik made 52 from 38 balls with 4 fours and two sixes. Misbah, on the other hand, blasted 66 from 42 balls with 7 fours and a six as Pakistan eased home by six wickets. Mike Hussey was the top scorer for Australia with 37 while Brad Hodge made 36. A lot of their batsmen got starts, but did not carry on. It hurt them in the end.
--By A Cricket Analyst