Edinburgh: Sarfraz Ahmed became Pakistan’s most successful Twenty20 international captain and posted his highest score in the format as Scotland succumbed to a 48-run defeat in Edinburgh on Tuesday.
Having won the toss and elected to bat at Grange Cricket Club, Sarfraz led by example for Pakistan, charging to 89 not out from 49 deliveries to help his team post 204-4 from their 20 overs.
Openers Fakhar Zaman (21) and Ahmed Shehzad (14) failed to build on starts as they were removed by Alasdair Evans, who led Scotland’s attack with impressive figures of 3-23.
Hussain Talat (18) also struggled, but Shoaib Malik (53) provided able support to his skipper, who reached the boundary 10 times and went over the ropes for three sixes, the pair compiling what proved to be a match-winning partnership of 96 for the fourth wicket.
Sarfraz not only surpassed his previous best of 76 not out against New Zealand in Dubai in December 2014, but also became Pakistan’s most successful T20I captain, having now notched 18 wins from his 21 matches at the helm.
Michael Leask (38 not out) top scored in the hosts’ run chase and captain Kyle Coetzer made 31 opening alongside George Munsey (25).
Dylan Budge contributed 24, while Calum MacLeod (12) and Matthew Cross (13) reached double figures,but a lack of partnerships and the collective failure of Scotland’s specialists to kick on proved fatal to their hopes of staging another upset, the relative minnows having stunned England in an ODI at the same venue on Sunday.
Hasan Ali (2-33) and Shadab Khan (2-25) did the damage with the ball in hand for Pakistan, who will look to seal a series win in the second and final T20I on Wednesday.