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Zimbabwe Steamrolled by Rampant Fakhar Zaman | Match Review

Fakhar Zaman
Zimbabwe Steamrolled by Rampant Fakhar Zaman
©REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Zimbabwe Cricket is in doldrums and its second ODI defeat in the five match series was a true reflection of its plight. 

Zimbabwe, after a cautious start with the total reaching 33-2 (12 overs), did improve upon its run rate but failed to keep their wickets. Hamilton Masakadza, a skipper with an added strain of carrying a struggling side, added 62 for the 3rd wicket with the talented Tarisai Musakanda and could have done with another couple of more stands on those lines, to give Zimbabwe a chance to reach a more respectable total.

He top scored with 59 (5 fours, 2 sixes) and with Peter Moor fighting all the way with 50 off 86 balls with two fours and as many sixes, Zimbabwe closed on 194 all out off 49.2 overs.

Usman Khan Shanvari, a Pathan with strong shoulders and rugged looks, found both the overcast condition and the pace in the wicket, to his liking. He six-over opening spell with figures of 2-17 provided Pakistan with an ideal start.

Shanvari, is one of half a dozen left-arm paceman – perhaps the only time in the history of the international cricket when right-arm bowlers have been marginalized to this extent – and by keeping fuller length in the slog overs, picked up another two wickets to finish with 4 for 36 off his 10 overs. Good intelligent bowling and he was well supported by Hasan Ali, who picked up three middle order batsman, to make life difficult for the home side.

Zimbabwe bowling lacked firepower to have any chance to defend their modest total. With Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq recording their second 100 plus opening stand in four days, the outcome of the match was in no doubt. Fakhar, a natural striker of the ball, timed his innings to perfection and there was no one in sight to stop him.

An unbeaten 117 off 129 balls with 16 fours did spil the day for Zimbabwe and earned him the Player of the Match award. Imam-ul-Haq, the only wicket to fall in Pakistan’s run chase, was run out in a mix-up that could have avoided, but not before he had a chipped in with 44 in a stand  of 119 in 20.4 overs. With 14 overs still in bank, Pakistan thus recorded  a convincing 9-wicket win to go two-nil up in the five-match series.