BULAWAYO: Pakistan continued their dominance with both bat and ball to win the second of five one-day internationals against Zimbabwe by nine wickets.
Zimbabwe’s national cricket team suffered another heavy defeat at the hands of their guests Pakistan in the second of their five-match one day international (ODI) series at Qeens Sports Club in Bulawayo yesterday, this time losing by nine wicket as opener Fakhar Zaman eased to his second ODI century, finishing with a career best 117 not out, to seal a win that had been set up by Pakistan’s seam attack, who bowled Zimbabwe out for 194.
Fakhar Zaman took all the limelight as he showed no mercy for the predominantly reserve side, hitting 117 not out in his team’s successful chase of a victory target of 195, which they achieved with 84 balls remaining.
Usman Khan took four wickets and Hasan Ali chipped in with 3 for 32 to bowl the hosts out, Pakistan’s top order batsmen then capping a commanding performance.
Babar Azam was also undefeated on 29, while Imam-Ul-Haq lost his wicket via a run-out after putting 44 runs on the board.
Zimbabwe won the toss and opted to bat first on another cold morning in Bulawayo, They were put under immediate pressure by Pakistan’s new ball attack, and in particular Khan. He had both openers caught behind in his first spell.
Zimbabwe briefly rallied during a 62-run partnership between Masakadza and Tarisai Musakanda. But that was their best stand.
After Khan took two wickets with consecutive deliveries in the 44th over, the hosts were 166 for 7 and sinking fast.
Pakistan 195 for 1 (Zaman 117*, Imam 44) beat Zimbabwe 194 (Masakadza 59, Moor 50, Usman 4-36) by nine wickets
Moor cobbled together stands with the lower order to keep his side ticking along, and brought up a third ODI fifty in the 48th over. But after he fell attempting to up the run rate, Pakistan made short work of Zimbabwe’s tail to bowl the hosts out four balls short of a completed fifty overs.
Zimbabwe could not match Pakistan’s precision and menace with the ball and openers Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq took 54 from the powerplay without ever giving more than a half chance to the fielders. The pair took their opening stand to 119 before ul-Haq was run out, against the run of play, for 44.
Openers Brian Chari and Chamu Chibhabha targeted a good start, but soon, Zimbabwe were limping after losing the former, who had made just one run from 15 balls.
Nothing has gone right for Zimbabwe in this series, starting from the T-20 triangular that involved Pakistan and Australia.
The unavailability of key players, who chose to withdraw their services over unfulfilled financial promises, hit Zimbabwe hard and they are feeling it all the way.
Chibhabha didn’t hang around too long, as he, too, was sent back to the hut, falling to the combination of Ahmed, who took the catch and four-wicket hero Usman Khan, just as in the case of his opening partner.
Hamilton Masakadza and Tarisai Musakanda attempted to steady the ship with a 34-run partnership, which was Zimbabwe’s biggest.
Hamilton went on to reach his half-ton after Musakanda had been trapped leg before wicket by Hasan Ali.
By the time Hamilton became Shoaib Malik’s victim, he had hit five fours and two sixes to reach 59 runs from 75 deliveries.
Peter Moor hung on for Zimbabwe and he looked the best hope of surpassing the 200-run mark, but Ali rid his team of him, but not before he celebrated his half century.
There wasn’t much else impressive on the Zimbabwe score card, with Ryan Murray scoring 16, while Tiripano (13) and Wellington (12) also had double figures.
At the other end, Zaman raced past a run-a-ball fifty untroubled by the Zimbabwean attack and reached three figures in the 32nd over.