Pakistan levels ODI series with 90-run win
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Mohammad Hafeez hit an unbeaten century and Junaid Khan took 4-15 as Pakistan claimed a 90-run victory over Zimbabwe on Thursday in the second one-day international, taking the three-match series to a decider.
Hafeez anchored Pakistan to 299-4 by hitting 136 off 130 balls with nine fours and five sixes. Brendan Taylor’s 79 off 95 balls gave Zimbabwe some hope before the hosts were bowled out for 209 in 42.4 overs, losing their last six wickets for only nine runs.
Zimbabwe claimed a surprise seven-wicket victory on Tuesday — the African nation’s first win in a bilateral series against the Pakistanis in 15 years. The third and final match of the series will be played at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday.
Taylor, who hit six fours and a six, kept Zimbabwe in the hunt with his first ODI half century in 2013 and added 70 runs for the fourth wicket with Sean Williams (37) and a further 65 runs with Malcolm Waller (40) before Pakistan came back hard.
Mohammad Irfan plucked a one-handed catch over his head at short fine leg off Saeed Ajmal to end Taylor’s resistance and Waller played on Khan’s delivery as both set batsmen departed at the total of 200.
Khan, who had earlier removed opening batsman Hamilton Masakadza (24), went on to claim two more tailenders to dismiss the home team with more than seven overs to spare.
“It was all about wickets in hand, we had a chance but they came back strong as expected,” Taylor said. “The first game did us wonders but we’ll have to produce something good and rectify a few things now.”
After being put in to bat, Pakistan struggled to 84-3 before Hafeez and left-handed Umar Amin (59) took charge with a 129-run stand off 126 balls against some wayward bowling. Hard-hitting Shahid Afridi (39 not out) hit three sixes and a boundary while adding 86 off 45 deliveries with Hafeez as Pakistan scored 106 in the last 10 overs.
“We were actually looking for a score around 260, not 300, but Umar Amin’s partnership with me was good and then Shahid Afridi blasted some runs which gave us a good score,” Hafeez said. “We wanted to win this game and the boys showed great commitment. The pitch changed a little bit later and our bowlers did a great job.”
Zimbabwe’s four frontline bowlers kept Pakistan in check until the 22nd over with left-arm seamer Brian Vitori removing Ahmed Shehzad (5) and captain Misbah-ul-Haq (3) cheaply.
But Taylor brought on four part-time bowlers to fill in the 10 overs of the fifth bowler.
Hafeez, who led Pakistan to a 2-0 victory in the Twenty20 series against Zimbabwe last week, and Amin started cautiously before accumulating 43 runs in five overs of second batting powerplay. Amin completed his maiden half century with five fours and a six before he was run out by Tendai Chatara through some smart fielding off his follow through.
Hafeez raised his half century off 65 balls, but needed only a further 46 balls to complete his sixth ODI hundred when he cut offspinner Prosper Utseya and ran three runs. He celebrated by taking off his helmet, raising his arms in jubilation and kneeling down to kiss the ground.
Unlike Tuesday’s disciplined bowling, the home team bowlers were too erratic on Thursday and conceded 20 wides, with Vitori also giving away 68 runs for the two wickets.