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The national cricket team played its 200th Twenty20 International and it was another game to remember in Pakistan T20I history. They won a thrilling three runs win over England in the fourth T20I game in the ongoing seven-match series.
Pakistan became the first team to play 200 games in the shortest format in the sport’s history. With so many memories to look back into, we take out the best 15 moments in the history of Pakistan T20I.
1. Winners of the 2009 T20 World Cup
There is no doubt that this moment tops the list. The national team had recently suffered a terrible moment due to the results of masked gunmen attacking the Sri Lanka team during their 2009 tour. Pakistan were stripped from hosting international matches and were forced to play in the UAE.
But three months later in the 2009 Men’s T20 World Cup tournament, they faced Sri Lanka in the final and, under the leadership of Younis Khan, won the tournament by eight wickets. Younis Khan described it as a “gift” coming at the right time. Given how the situation was during those dark times, this was indeed a gift for the whole nation.
In relation, we recommend you to read this: T20 World Cup 2009: A Gift Coming at the Right Time
2. First win over India in the World Cup matches
Seven times in the ODI world cups and five times in the T20 World Cups but none were the moments where the Green Team had victories over their arch-rivals India. Not even the great Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Shahid Afridi or Waqar Younis could achieve.
On October 24, 2021, Babar Azam walked out of the stadium as Pakistan’s first captain to win over India in the world cup games after giving them a trashing 10 wickets win on Dubai night. Fans were overjoyed for the jinx to be finally broken and the whole nation celebrated.
3. Captain Babar’s first century in South Africa
The four-match series was 1-1 and the skipper Babar was in poor form of late. In the previous game, he scored one of the slowest fifties in T20I cricket which he brought in 49 balls. To add more salt to the wound of criticism, South Africa put a big total of 203.
The national side never chased a target over 200. But Babar Azam and his men made history. Babar himself scored his maiden T20I century, the first by the national side’s captain in the format. His brilliant 122 from just 59 balls along with his partner in crime Mohammad Rizwan (73* of 47) saw the team win the match with an over to spare.
4. Babar and Rizwan’s world record 200
In the ongoing series against England, the 2nd T20I was one to remember. If Babar and Rizwan were incredible in the South Africa 3rd T20I in 2021, then this was even more special. England scored 199 in their complete overs. Despite knowing that they can do it as they did before, both Babar and Rizwan were under heavy criticism due to their poor performances in the 2022 Asia Cup.
But the duo gave a shut-up call to the critics for making baseless criticism. They chased the total down without losing a wicket! Both B Azam (110* from 66) and Rizwan (88* from 66) took their chances and scored every run. This became a world record for highest run-chase without losing a wicket and also a record for most 150+ partnerships by an opening pair.
5. 11 consecutive series win in Pakistan T20I
The Green Team were never a powerhouse in the shortest format of international cricket. But it was in 2016 when Sarfaraz Ahmed was made the new captain of T20Is. PAK were ranked as low as 7th and they were going through a rough patch. While Tests and ODIs team performances were mediocre, the Pakistan T20I side became a world beater.
Sarfaraz and his young boys started a series win over West Indies, England (one-off match), New Zealand (twice), Australia and even the tri-series final against Australia. They rose to world no.1 for the first time in the international T20 rankings. Their 11 consecutive series wins remains a world record in the history of the shortest international format.
6. Tri-Series winners 2018
Speaking of the Tri-series in 2018, this was a massive moment in Pakistan T20I history. After recently winning the series in New Zealand and then over Scotland, Sarfaraz and his boys travelled to Zimbabwe for a Tri-series. Predictably, Australia and PAK were in the final.
For over 30 years, the Shaheens had never beaten Australia in a final of any multi-nation series. After getting a target of 188, the Shaheens needed their personal best to chase it. Fakhar Zaman (91) lead the team once again in the final and PAK emerged victorious.
7. First Asian team to conquer New Zealand
No Asian team ever managed to win a T20I series before 2018. The Green Team were already in hot waters following their 5-0 loss in the ODI series and they were 1-0 down in the T20I series. With two games remaining in the tour, many expected New Zealand will sweep over again.
But Sarfaraz and his boys did not give up. They won the next game with the skipper himself one of the top scorers and in the final match of the series, they won by 18 runs to make history in New Zealand. That was also the first time where our national team made it to the top of the rankings.
8. World Record chase in Pakistan T20I history
Ever since Babar and Rizwan became an opening pair, the duo have put on seven 100 opening stands. No other team have managed this much and never in the history of Pakistan T20I have they had such moments.
The duo was once again asked to set the platform for the chase and again they did not disappoint. Together, they added 158 for the first wicket inside the 16th over before they lost their captain. But the foundation was already set and they won by seven wickets to record their highest successful run-chase.
9. Highest chase against India in Asia Cup
India and Pakistan matches are always spicy. Given how they hardly play each other in cricket now, all the multi-nation tournaments where the two side meets always have some spice in them. In the Super 4 round of the 2022 Aisa Cup, the Green Team met the Blue team. India put up a big total of 181. In the team’s history together, the Green team needed another highest total chase.
It was not easy, given Captain Azam’s form in the competition and how poor the middle-order were of late. But another Rizwan’s masterclass along with Mohammad Nawaz and Asif Ali’s heroics set up a record victory for the national team.
10. Umar Gul’s magic in 2009 and 2013
We all remembered how amazing Umar Gul was and how he dominated Twenty20 cricket in his career. Gul registered not once, but twice the figures of 5-6 in the international format of the game.
The first time happened in the 2009 T20 WC where PAK needed to win a must-win game against New Zealand. Umar Gul bowled the format’s first five-wicket haul as he bowled them out for 99. Then four years later in 2013, he recorded the same figures in South Africa to help his side win the two-match series 1-0.
11. Destroying Hong Kong for just 38!
In the 2022 Asia Cup, the men in green needed to win over Hong Kong to qualify for the Super 4s. It was certain that they will win but the manner of their victory was very vicious.
After setting up 193-2 in their 20 overs, the bowlers did not spare the poor Hong Kong team. They bundled out the associated nation for just 38! It became the lowest total against a Full Member in T20 internationals.
12. Asif Ali’s 4 sixes against Afghanistan
The new rivalry between the Shaheens and Afghanistan began in the 2018 Asia Cup and it became stronger in the 2019 World Cup. The 2021 T20 World Cup match was no different. Chasing a good total of 148, Babar’s men struggled while chasing. When 24 runs were required from 12 balls, it looked a bit hopeless. Every ball mattered.
But Asif Ali, known for his hard-hitting, was out at the crease. He took a liking to Karim Jannat and smashed not one, not two, but four sixes to end the match with an over to spare. It was so easy for Asif that all he needed to do was to put the bat onto the ball and it went flying. This became another memorable victory.
13. Naseem Shah’s double blow in Asia Cup
This game between PAK vs AFG though was a whole different level. Everything was a mess in the lineup of the Shaheens and they even lost Asif Ali early in the chase. Not forgetting that he and Fareed Ahmed had a heated moment. The last over saw the team needing only 11 runs with no recognized batter on the crease. It looked as if Afghanistan will win.
Naseem Shah had other plans. Fazalhaq Farooqi bowled the last over but bowled two loose deliveries to a tail-ender and cost the whole game. Naseem Shah, with two straight sixes, sent the team to the final and it was a really heart-aching game of all times.
14. Amir’s special in St Lucia
When T20s was just a format and not big on every player, there were hardly any special moments to remember, especially for the bowling side. This was in 2010 when the T20 WC took place and AUS and PAK were facing in round one. In the last over, AUS were 191-5 and whole six balls remained.
What Amir did bowl an extraordinary over in the twenty20 history. That over saw three wickets to the bowler and two run-outs. Not a single run was given. Never has this ever happened before and it was remembered for a long time.
15. Another Bobby-Riz special in Nottingham
Becoming a new pair in 2021, the captain and the wicket-keeper had already made records in the first half of the year. But in England, they made another special moment in the game. In the series where they eventually lost 2-1, the first T20I game was one to remember.
Babar (85 from 49) and Rizwan (63 from 41) scored 150 together, their second 150+ as openers. They scored the team’s highest T20I total in the format. Then the bowlers won the game for the side by 31 runs.