3rd ODI Pakistan v Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe win thriller in Super Over
The launching of ICC Cricket World Cup Super League has ensured there is no such thing as dead rubber . Although two down in the series, Zimbabwe produced their best cricket in the final match of the series, in beating Pakistan in the Super Over, at Pindi Cricket Ground.
Pakistan 278/9 (50)
Zimbabwe 278/6 (50)
Match tied (Zimbabwe won the one-over eliminator)
Zimbabwe choosing to bat first on a wicket that looked all good for a 300plus total that has not been achieved by any team thus far in the three-match ODI series. Skipper Chamu Chibhabha, departed in the second over without scoring and by the eighth over, he had been joined in the dressing room with two other top order batsmen. Mohammad Hasnain, one of the four changes in the Pakistan line-up, moving the ball at a decent pace, had picked up all three wickets.
A sorry looking scorecard for Zimbabwe 22-3 brought in the two seasoned campaigners – Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams - who have been around on the international scene since 2004. There were up against the four-pronged Pakistan attack and did a good job in steadying the ship and the 100 came up in the 24th over. Their stand was worth 86 when Taylor was caught in the cover and his dismissal also slowed down the run rate.
Williams needed another partnership in pursuit of a competitive total and found Wesley Madhevere (33), up for the challenge and 75 runs were added in 12.5 overs. Hasnain broke the stand and in doing so claimed his fifth wicket and he certainly was on the money in all three spells to finish with excellent figures of 10.3.26.5. With 10 overs still in hand Zimbabwe were well placed on 189-5 and ready for the charge. The 34-year old left-handed brought up his fourth ODI hundred and it was a high quality knock considering the awful start his team had in the morning. With Sikander Raza (45 off 36 balls) in company, 96 runs came in just in 11.5 overs for Zimbabwe to put up a competitive total of 278-6. Williams ended with 118 not out off 135 balls 13 fours and a six, with the only blemish being when Shaheen Afridi missed him off his own bowling.
After his five wickets in the previous game, Iftikhar Ahmed’s off-spin looked innocuous, short of international class and Zimbabwe took 60 runs of his 10 overs. Now jokingly referred as Chacha (uncle) in the social media for his rugged looks that seem to suggest he is much older than his official age of 30, sooner or later the selectors will need to review his role in the team as a batting all-rounder, moving forward. With things not going his way, Mohammad Musa too didn’t have a good game, giving away 80 in 10 overs.
Pakistan’s start mirrored that of Zimbabwe when they too lost three early wickets against the new ball. At 88-5 in the 18th over, the top order had left it all for captain Babar Azam, who had walked in to bat in the very first over. He was his usual calm and compact self in sharp contrast to his fellow batsmen who had ended in a dug out after airy fairy defence. The scoreline forced him to restrain himself in the wake of Zimbabwe being on the top. Khusdil Shah, an aggressive left-handed on his ODI debut, too needed to be subdued for a while as the 100 arrived in 20.4 overs and asking rate now above 6 runs an over.
After playing a sensible knock worth 33 off 48 balls in a 63-run stand with Babar, Khusdil departed at 151. At drinks Pakistan 174-6 had an equation of 105 still needed off last 15 overs (90 balls), with Wahab Riaz keen to show his batting skills. The paceman rotated the strike, in between big hits, including a slog sweep six that travelled 90 meters. Run-a-ball 50-run stand for the 7th wicket took the total to 208-6 after 40 overs and Babar in no mood to give up the chase and it took him only 105 balls for his 12th ODI hundred.
Wahab contributed 52 priceless runs in the run chase and was out going for his fourth six. Shortly after an elegant six, Babar was out caught behind, trying to run the ball to third man, for an outstanding captain’s innings off 125 off as many balls to leave the last pair to get 13 runs off the final over. With two orthodox drives to the boundary, Musa Khan, amazingly managed to tie the scores. A maiden five-wicket haul from Blessing Muzarabani, also earned him the Super Over in which he dismissed Iftikhar and Khushdil, to finish the drama.
Pakistan - Imam ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam(c), Haider Ali, Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Afridi, Muhammad Musa
Zimbabwe - Brian Chari, Chamu Chibhabha(c), Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor(wk), Sean Williams, Wesley Madhevere, Sikandar Raza, Tendai Chisoro, Donald Tiripano, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava
Start Time: 07:00
Toss: Zimbabwe won the toss and decided to bat
Venue: Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi
Officials: Aleem Dar, Rashid Riaz, Ahsan Raza, Asif Yaqoob, Javed Malik
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