Pakistan is at the top of the ICC t20 ranking at present and one of the key factors for that position, has been its ability to chase down totals. After today’s victory against Zimbabwe they have successfully attained the target on last nine occasions in the t20 format. This, mind you is in sharp contrast to their past record over the years in both Tests and ODIs, as its batting line-up is not known to handle pressure that well, in a run chase. Historically it is the Pakistan bowlers, blessed with pace, aggression and skill, both in pace and spin, that have been instrumental in its standing in world cricket.
Match Details T20I Tri Series
Zimbabwe v Pakistan
Venue - Harare Sports Club, Harare
Date – July 4th
In the Match four of the tri-nation series, Zimbabwe, put in by Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, put up a decent total in reaching 162 for 4 in 20 overs. It was the same wicket at Harare Sports Club, used yesterday for the match between Zimbabwe and Australia. Today there was no real pace or spin for the bowlers and Zimbabwe perhaps was 20 run short of what could have been a possible match-winning total. With Pakistanis a touch sloppy in the field and its spinners Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan, posing very little threat, the home batsmen, after reaching 92-2 off 12 overs, should have flourished more.
Opening batsman Solomon Mire‘s innings of 94, the highest score by a Zimbabwean in t20 internationals, beefed up his side’s prospect in this do-or-die game. The stocky Harare-born right-handed batsman faced 63 balls and among his six sixes, a pull of Mohammad Amir, over square-leg was the one he will cherish the most. He unselfishly went for big shots instead of looking for his personal landmark of an individual hundred. The talented 23-year old Tarisai Musakanda, with a brisk 33 off 22 balls, was caught at long-on in the final over, bowled by Amir, easily the pick of Pakistan bowlers. His figures of 1-25 off 4 overs, included few streaky boundaries, and did not reflect how well he bowled.
The asking rate of 8.15 runs per never seemed out of Pakistan’s reach but all credit to Zimbabwe for taking the game, right to the wire. The target was achieved in the last over with 5 balls to spare and seven wickets intact. The two left-handed batsmen, Fakhar Zaman (47) and Hussain Talat (44) provided the platform for skipper Sarfraz to finish the match with a timely unbeaten 38
off 21 balls. Surprisingly there were only two sixes in the entire Pakistan innings as its batsmen did not opt for aerial route against a steady bowling attack, instead not taking undue risk both in shot selection or running between the wicket.
Three defeats in a row killed off any chance of Zimbabwe reaching the Final on Sunday that will be now be played between Australia and Pakistan, leaving the next two games of the league stages to be fairly insignificant.
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