Saving our best for last: Captain Finch


Saving our best for last: Captain Finch

Fakhar Zaman hit a T20I career-best 91 to lead Pakistan to a six-wicket victory over Australia in the Tri-series final in Harare.

Zaman combined with veteran Shoaib Malik (43 not out) for a fourth-wicket partnership of 107 as Pakistan passed Australia's total with four balls to spare - their highest successful run-chase in T20Is.

However, the captaincy of Aaron Finch was watertight throughout the T20I tri-series, as an inexperienced Australian side pieced together some entertaining performances.

Pakistan looked in trouble when Maxwell took 2 wickets in the 1st over itself, and after a little fightback lost the skipper Sarfraz Khan, Pakistan's score after 5.2 overs lies at 3 for 47.

"I think nowadays he's in the best form of his life", reckoned Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed.

But it wasn't all smooth sailing for Pakistan as debutant Sahibzada Farhan was stumped off a wide in his first ball in global cricket.

But Ahmed and Zaman revived the innings with a 45-run stand before Ahmed was run out after scoring 28 while going for a needless third run in the sixth over. Andrew Tye rose 41 places to seventh spot and Adil Rashid moved up four places to ninth.

Zaman made three half centuries in his previous five games.

When asked about Finch's potential to take over from the Tasmanian, Langer said the 31-year-old had made a strong case.

But hard work in the nets has not necessarily transmuted into success.

"Having played a lot of T20 cricket now, I understand the highs and lows of a batter in this game so it's just about making sure that you're giving yourself the best chance, making the right decision under pressure, and I still feel as though I'm doing that".

Short is expected to again partner Finch at the top of Australia's order, with wicketkeeper Alex Carey (who performed the role against Zimbabwe on Friday) to drop back down the order.

Inexperienced Shaheen Afridi, 18, dismissed Short in the 17th over and Amir struck twice in the last over to restrict Australia. I don't think we were complacent, I think with the ball we just mis-executed and got hurt badly.

If one were to ask for a flawless recipe for making the world's number one-ranked T20I team, the ingredients would revolve around a combination of a young side which has no fear of failure, a ideal blend of youth and experience, a leader who will not take "no" for an answer from his wards when it comes to putting in their best and a head coach who is not shy of setting standards that are the envy of other sides around the world.