Bad light thwarts Pakistan's fightback as Zimbabwe level series
Zimbabwe 276-6 (Chibhabha 90) beat
Pakistan 256-8 (Shoaib Malik 96no) by five runs (D/L method)
Second One-Day International in Harare
Pakistan won the toss on a pitch that had a green tinge to it and opted to bowl first.
Pakistan made two changes to their line-up as Asad Shafiq and Bilal Asif replaced Ahmed Shehzad and Imad Wasim. Zimbabwe went unchanged.
Zimbabwe openers Hamilton Masakadza (7) and Chamu Chibhabha (90) started the innings cautiously while managing to hit the occasional boundary.
Pakistan drew first blood in the eighth over when Masakadza holed out to fine leg while attempting to play a pull shot. Zimbabwe reached 40 for one by the end of the powerplay.
The introduction of spin managed to curb the scoring rate even further as Zimbabwe opted to consolidate.
Chibhabha and Brian Chari (39) managed to rotate the strike well without taking many risks.
Chibhabha reached his fifty off 68 balls and was soon given a reprieve by Pakistan when Azhar Ali dropped a chance off his own bowling.
Chari and Chibhabha added 91 runs for the second wicket. However, Mohammad Irfan (1-47) managed to find the breakthrough for Pakistan by dismissing Chari in the 29th over.
Zimbabwe lost another wicket when Sean Williams (10) edged one to slip off Wahab Riaz (4-63) but Chibhabha continued to hold fort at one end.
By the end of the 35th over, Zimbabwe reached 153 for the loss of three wickets.
Chibhabha moved into the 90s in the 41st over, but was soon dismissed by Riaz.
Sikandar Raza (32) and Elton Chigumbura (67) stepped up the scoring rate by hitting regular boundaries.
The Zimbabwe captain completed his half-century in just 46 balls.
After hitting a six and a boundary in the penultimate over, Chigumbura was out hit wicket when he tried to go deep into his crease to reach a wide full toss.
Zimbabwe plundered 96 runs in the final 10 overs, which pushed their score to 276 for six, thanks to some brilliant batting in the death overs from Raza, Chigumbura and Richmond Mutumbami (14 not out).
Riaz was the best bowler for Pakistan with his four wickets while Yamin and Irfan picked a wicket apiece.
Pakistan lost Bilal Asif (0) and Azhar Ali (1) to Tinashe Panyangara (2-44) early in the chase.
Luke Jongwe (1-41) accounted for Asad Shafiq (1), who edged a delivery to the keeper. By the end of the powerplay, Pakistan were positioned at 31 for three.
Mohammad Hafeez (27) was run out in the 14th over when he attempted a quick single.
The wickets continued to tumble as Chibhabha (1-55) got Sarfraz Ahmed (9) to chip an easy catch to the covers.
Pakistan sunk further when Graeme Cremer (1-8) dismissed Mohammad Rizwan (8) thanks to a superb catch by John Nyumbu (0-38) at slip. Pakistan were in dire straits at the halfway mark with the scoreboard reading 86 for six.
Zimbabwe dropped Yamin (62) and missed a stumping chance against him. Shoaib Malik (96 not out) was also dropped on 39.
Malik reached his fifty off 73 balls while Yamin got there in 54 balls. The duo built a 111-run stand for the seventh wicket.
Chigumbura (1-33) got the breakthrough by dismissing Yamin in the 40th over with Pakistan needing 89 runs off the final 10 overs.
Riaz ran himself out attempting a quick single after which the rain came down interrupting the game for about five minutes.
The light began to deteriorate after the resumption of play. Malik began to shift gears and along with Yasir (32 not out) he got the equation down to 29 runs required off 18 balls.
But at the end of the 48th over, the umpires decided to take the players off the field due to bad light.
The match was eventually called off and Zimbabwe were declared winners by five runs as per the Duckworth-Lewis method rendering a superb innings from Malik in vain..
Chigumbura was named as the man of the match for his all-round efforts. The decisive third and final ODI will be played on 5th October in Harare.
© Cricket World 2015