Pakistan off the mark

Published: Sunday 1st March 2015 by The News Editor

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Pakistan finally got their World Cup campaign up and running as they beat Zimbabwe by 20 runs in a low-scoring contest in Brisbane.

Batting first they made 235 – recovering from four for two – and were then able to restrict Zimbabwe to 215 all out in their chase, meaning they picked up a first victory after defeats to India and West Indies.

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq’s 73 underpinned the Pakistan batting, while Mohammad Irfan (four for 30) and Wahab Riaz (four for 35) shone with the ball.

They shackled Zimbabwe, with Brendan Taylor’s 50 not enough to get the job done.

Irfan removed the top three for a combined 46, having Chamu Chibhabha (nine) and Sikandar Raza (eight) edging him to second slip, while Hamilton Masakadza holed out to mid-on (29).

Taylor had made good progress but nicked Riaz behind for a 72-ball 50, and the wickets continued to fall as Sean Williams hit Rahat Ali to backward point (33).

Solomon Mire made just eight before Irfan got rid of him, and Craig Ervine 14 nicked Riaz to Umar Akmal – one of five catches for the keeper.

Tuwanda Mupariwa went for a duck, Tinashe Panyangara was run out for 10 and then, when Elton Chigumbura edged Riaz behind, the game was done.

It was fortunate for Pakistan that they were not facing a more dangerous side considering their own score.

Their innings got off to a terrible start and they found themselves reeling on four for two after only 23 balls.

Nasir Jamshed was the first man out, caught at square leg off the bowling of Tendai Chatara.

The same bowler took the second wicket too, inducing an edge off Ahmed Shehzad who nicked behind for an 11-ball duck.

Haris Sohail joined up with Misbah and the duo put on 54 until the former was caught at short mid-wicket, Raza doing the job.

Another healthy stand, this time of 69, pushed the team score behind a hundred, before Akmal (33) was cleaned up by Williams.

It had been a fine performance by Zimbabwe at that point and it got better when Shahid Afridi holed out for a second-ball duck on his 35th birthday, bowled by Williams.

Sohaib Maqsood added 21, having been dropped by Ervine on eight, while a substitute fielder also shelled Riaz when he was on 41, with the number 10 going on to make his first ODI half-century from 45 balls.

He was left unbeaten on 54 at the end, with Sohail caught and bowled by Mupariwa and Misbah removed for an excellent 73 when he was caught at long on, giving Chatara his third scalp for 35 runs.

Published: Sunday 1st March 2015 by The News Editor

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