Pakistan Seal T20 Series with 15-Run Victory on Zimbabwe in Harare

September 30 00:17 2015

afridiNew Delhi, Wednesday, September 30 – Zimbabwe lost even the second and decisive T20 match at the hands of Pakistan at Harare Sports Club in Harare a day ago. Pak who won the 1st game by 13 runs did the same this time too but the margin of victory was slightly up this time. Pakistan tour of Zimbabwe turned interesting for the guests after they thrashed rivals by 15 runs on Tuesday.

The home team comprised Tinashe Panyangara, Hamilton Masakadza, Chamu Chibhabha, Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams, Elton Chigumbura, Richmond Mutumbami, Luke Jongwe, Graeme Cremer and Prosper Utseya, while on the other hand, Pakistani squad included Mohammad Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Rizwan, Imad Wasim, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanvir, Ahmed Shehzad, Imran Khan Jr and Mohammad Irfan.

It was a do-or-die match for the hosts and they needed to rise above all challenges to level the series to avoid  a defeat. But nothing happened what Zimbabwe players thought. As like earlier, Pak won the toss and decided to bat. Zimbabwe when once again got invitation to bowl were clear in mind to stop Pakistan at a low score similar to the way they did a few days ago on the same ground and against the same playing XI.

It was a mere coincidence that the home team restricted Pakistan at 136 runs, a total that was put on the score board during first T20 International match. Pakistan team was captained by experienced player Shahid Afridi, whose poor show with bat continued this time as well. Ahmed Shehzad was the first to throw his wicket to Tinashe Panyangara at a score of 7 runs in 9 balls, including a boundary. Mohammad Hafeez tried removing the pressure from his team and struck three brilliant shots to attain 17 runs off 18 balls. However, before he would have gone any further, Prosper Utseya took a good catch in Luke Jongwe’s delivery.

Sohaib Maqsood arrived on the 22 yards pitch to hold the fort. Shoaib Malik, who lately played a knock of 35 runs in 24 balls, was out at 15 runs (4 x 2), failing to read the mood of Graeme Cremer’s ball. Just after an over, the right-handed batsman Maqsood was dismissed by Prosper Utseya and Elton Chigumbura did not make any mistake to pouch the ball. He scored 26 runs in 25 balls, sending the ball into the fences thrice.

Mohammad Rizwan, the wicketkeeper-batsman was out after scoring 16 runs in 16 balls (4 x1). The real difference was made by Umar Akmal who was not out at 38 runs that were scored in 28 deliveries. A couple of fours and a biggie were the highlights of his innings. He helped his team see some quick rise in the pace of attaining runs that was required to take total score as up as possible. The skipper fell short to Tinashe Panyangara post scoring two runs.

Imad Wasim, the hero of 1st T20 match, was unbeaten at 13 runs, which included two classy fours. 136 runs were scored in 20 overs. Despite not a challenging total, many though it sufficient post taking into consideration average performance of Zimbabwe players. Some unpredictable exhibition of talent would have come for rescue of the Chigumbura-led side. Audiences were waiting to enjoy watching massive sixes and stylish boundaries but Zimbabwe camp continued bearing the jolts at different time intervals.

Chamu Chibhabha, who was out for a duck in previous encounter, missed a delivery by Sohail Tanvir this time and was shown a way back to the pavilion when batting at 3 runs. Hamilton Masakadza showed some hope by hitting a six but soon threw his wicket to Mohammad Irfan at a score of 9. Craig Ervine’s wicket was a big one for Pakistan. He was the run out at a single victim when Sohaib Maqsood collected the ball on the time to hit the stumps before the batsman was safely in the crease. Richmond Mutumbami was run out by Wasim at 3 runs off 9 balls.

Khan Jr almost ended all hopes of Zimbabwe to win the 2nd T20 by dismissing Sikandar Raza, who was making great efforts to get the total in remaining overs. He played a knock of 36 runs in 36 balls. It was a tad surprising to notice that he struck just a boundary in his innings. Perhaps, it was because the player had to save his wicket too as others were losing it frequently.

The Zimbabwe captain Chigumbura tried to put his best foot forward to write a new story and but was out soon by Irfan. His total contribution was 17 runs which were achieved with the help two massive sixes. Luke Jongwe scored 8 runs in 7 balls, including 1 four. Sean Williams was the highest scorer with 40 runs in 36 balls. His knock consisted of 4 fours. He worked hard to shift stress on the rivals but that was inadequate. However, the need of time was to ask others to contribute as well while their stint on the pitch. Graeme Cremer was not out at a zero and did not get any chance to play a ball.

The hosts were able to save its wicket but did not succeed to attain the target which wasn’t difficult at all. A total of 4 extras were bowled by Pakistan. Zimbabwe only managed to pile up 121 runs, losing a contest where the outcome could have made them avoid the whitewash. It wasn’t easy for the Pakistan bowlers to restrict the opponents when so many runs aren’t achieved they managed to defend 136 runs. Umar Akmal was given Man of the Match award for his amazing performance. Zimbabwe did not bounce back. They have lost T20 series but may probably not leave any stone unturned to do well in the ODI tournament, which starts tomorrow.