Solomon Mire's stunning innings goes in vain and other takeaways as Pakistan march into T20 tri-series final

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Solomon Mire was on fire against Pakistan on Wednesday.

Pakistan booked their place in the final of the T20 tri-series with a seven-wicket win over hosts Zimbabwe at Harare on Wednesday.

The Men in Green elected to field first after skipper Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and managed to restrict Zimbabwe to 162-4 in their 20 overs. In reply, Pakistan looked to be comfortable for the most part of the chase and got home ultimately with five balls to spare.

The win means Pakistan and Australia have assured themselves of a place in Sunday’s final though the two sides still have to meet in the final round-robin clash.

Here, we take a look at the key talking points from Pakistan’s win.

MIRE FALLS AGNONISINGLY SHORT OF TON

After Zimbabwe’s two defeats prior to Wednesday’s clash, Solomon Mire had spoken about the need for his side to apply themselves better. That is exactly what the Zimbabwe opener did as he took the attack to Pakistan’s bowlers.

The right-hander was watchful but belligerent when he needed to be as he found the boundaries at regular intervals with some crisp shot-making.

The 28-year-old was on course to slam a maiden T20I ton by a Zimbabwe batsman before he was cruelly dismissed on 94 by part-timer Hussain Talat in the penultimate over.

However, his 94-run knock is the highest score by a Zimbabwe batsman in T20 Internationals, beating the previous best of 93 by skipper Hamilton Masakadza.

Solomon Mire was in breathtaking touch on Wednesday.

Solomon Mire was in breathtaking touch on Wednesday.

AMIR GETS SOLID WORKOUT ON RETURN

Pakistan pace spearhead Mohammad Amir was back in the side after sitting out of the opening two matches of the tournament. The 26-year-old replaced Usman Khan in the line-up and found his rhythm straight away with a probing first over.

While Mire gave Zimbabwe’s innings some momentum, Amir was able to keep things tight at his end. The Pakistan pacer deservedly got his name in the wicket-taking column with his final over after having the well-set Tarisai Musakanda caught at long-on.

The left-arm quick’s solid workout with figures of 1-25 on Wednesday augurs well for Pakistan before they take on Australia in the final of the tournament.

Amir was into his match rhythm straight away.

Amir was into his match rhythm straight away.

HUSSAIN TALAT FINDS FORM

While Amir’s workout was a big positive from Pakistan’s win, they had another reason to celebrate with young Hussain Talat finding some form with the bat. After using his part-time bowling to good effect by dismissing Mire, Talat finally went past the 20-run mark for the first time in five T20I innings as he set up Pakistan’s chase beautifully.

Looking to play with positive intent from the very first ball, the left-hander looked fluent as he kept the runs ticking at pace.

He led Pakistan’s chase following the departure of Fakhar Zaman and looked set for a well deserved half-century before he was dismissed by Chris Mpofu for a 35-ball 44 in the 18th over of the innings.

Talat played himself back into form with his 44-run knock.

Talat played himself back into form with his 44-run knock.

SHOAIB MALIK FINISHES THE JOB FOR PAKISTAN

When Talat fell in the 18th over, Pakistan still required 25 runs in 16 balls. However, those slim hopes were quickly dashed when Shoaib Malik strode in and immediately got to work.

The veteran Pakistan batsman started off his innings with two boundaries and a double to firmly bring the match back in Pakistan’s favour.

Malik had recently become the first player in history to complete a century of T20I appearances and he showed all his experience to steer Pakistan home along with Sarfraz. His unbeaten cameo of 12 (6) was just the catalyst the visitors needed in a tricky situation at the death.

Shoaib Malik eased Pakistan's nerves with a quick-fire cameo.

Shoaib Malik eased Pakistan’s nerves with a quick-fire cameo.

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Zimbabwe v Pakistan LIVE: Pakistan seal place in the final with seven-wicket win

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Sarfraz Ahmed and Hamilton Mazakadza go head-to-head.

Zimbabwe and Pakistan will lock horns in the fourth match of the T20 tri-series at Harare Sports Club on Wednesday. Both sides have tasted comprehensive losses to Australia in their last outings before this game.

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and elected to bowl first. The visitors have made a couple of changes from their nine-wicket loss to Australia with Mohammad Amir and Haris Sohail replacing Usman Khan and Mohammad Hafeez respectively.

Zimbabwe openers Solomon Mire and Cephas Zhuwao have given the hosts a solid start after collecting 46 runs without the loss of a wicket in the first six overs. Faheem Ashraf broke the opening stand by removing Zhuwao but Mire is still going strong and has  slammed a 32-ball half-century. Shadab Khan them removed Zimbabwe skipper Hamilton Masakadza but a 94-run knock from Mire saw Zimbabwe post 162-4 in their 20 overs.

In reply, Pakistan openers Fakhar Zaman and Haris Sohail started in a positive manner and added 58 runs for the first wicket before the latter was dismissed by Wellington Masakadza. Fakhar departed for a well-made 47 before Hussain Talat and Sarfraz took control of the Pakistan innings. Talat fell in the 18th over for a 35-ball 44 with Pakistan still needing 25 runs for a win in 16 balls. Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz ensured the visitors crossed the finish line with five balls to spare ultimately with unbeaten cameos.

Do not miss any of the action from this T20 clash by following the link below.

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David Warner set to take over captaincy role for Winnipeg Hawks in the Global T20 Canada

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Warner will replace Dwayne Bravo as skipper.

While he may be barred from all leadership positions by Cricket Australia, David Warner is set to don the captain’s hat for his Global T20 Canada outfit Winnipeg Hawks.

The former Australia vice captain will be replacing Dwayne Bravo in the role after the West Indies all-rounder pulled out of the rest of the tournament due to unknown reasons.

Warner, who was handed a 12-month ban from international and domestic cricket by Cricket Australia for his role in the ball-tampering episode that occurred in South Africa, only recently made his return to competitive cricket in the ongoing inaugural Global T20 Canada.

Warner has scored only six runs in three innings so far.

Warner has scored only six runs in three innings so far.

His returns so far for the Winnipeg Hawks have been abysmal with a combined total of six runs in the three matches so far.

Pakistan legend and Hawks coach Waqar Younis has given his stamp of approval to Warner’s leadership capabilities.

“I’m sure he’s going to be a good leader when it comes to captaincy,” Younis said to News Corp.

“(Warner) is a leader. He’s a team man. I’ve seen him in IPL and I’ve seen him as a leader. He’s up there, he’s upfront and he likes to give whatever his knowledge is, he’s always there,” the Pakistan great added.

Warner is not the only banned Australia cricketer playing in the tournament with former skipper Steve Smith turning out for the Toronto Nationals.

Warner’s team will be in action on Saturday next when they take on the Edmonton Royals.

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