In terms of cricketing abilities, Pakistan is several times ahead of Zimbabwe. But those who watched the match between the two teams in Perth, may not have seen any glimpse of one-sidedness. Zimbabwe fought on an equal footing with Pakistan by keeping eyes on their opponents’ eyes. The Zimbabweans finally won the match by 1 run.
Zimbabwe’s small capital of 130 runs, followed by Pakistan being thrashed with the pace ball. In a close-fought match at the end, Zimbabwe overcame mighty Pakistan to win.
Starting to chase runs, Pakistan slipped at the pace of Zimbabwean bowlers from the start. They lost the wickets of Babar Azam (4) for the team’s 13 runs, Mohammad Rizwan (14) for 23 runs, and Iftikhar Ahmed (5) for 36 runs. After that, Shan Masood made a partnership of 52 runs with Shadab Khan on the 4th wicket. But this pair got broken when Sikandar Raza dismissed Shadab for an individual 17 runs. In the next ball of the same over, Raza also hunted the wicket of Haider Ali.
Shan Masood, anchoring the innings, returned with Raza’s ball. The batsman scored the highest 44 runs from 38 balls for the team. Then the fear of defeat struck in the Pakistan camp. Pakistan needed 11 runs at one stage to win in the last over. Mohammad Nawaz and Mohammad Wasim were set batters on the wicket. Zimbabwean bowler Brad Evans was bowling. Nawaz and Wasim took 7 runs in the first two balls.
Only 4 runs are needed from 4 balls. The third ball also brought 1 run for the Men in Green. They needed 3 runs off 3 balls. Even after Nawaz was on the wicket, the fourth ball was a dot. They could not get runs. 3 runs were needed from 2 balls then. The extreme drama was created in the fifth ball itself. Nawaz played a shot for the boundary. But Nawaz was caught by Craig Ervine while trying to play the ball over mid-off. He got out after scoring 22 runs off 18 balls.
So, 3 runs were required from the last ball. Shaheen Afridi was on strike at that time. He can also play big shots. But Shaheen could not hit the ball boundary due to Brad Evans’s brilliant bowling. He managed to play the ball towards long on with a straight bat. After getting a single, Shaheen got run out while trying to run for the second. Zimbabwe won by 1 run as a result of that.
For Pakistan, Wasim was unbeaten with 12 runs off 13 balls. Sikandar Raza took the highest number of 3 wickets for Zimbabwe at the cost of 25 runs. Besides, Brad Evans took 2 wickets and Blessing Muzarabani and Luke Jongwe took 1 wicket each.
Zimbabwe had collected a small capital of 130 runs at the end of the scheduled 20 over. After losing the toss and batting first, Zimbabwe scored 23 runs after the first two overs. At the end of 4 overs, their collection stood at 38 without any loss. Haris Rauf took the wicket of Ervine who was batting with 19 runs in the last ball of the fifth over. Wasim came to bowl his second over and took the wicket of another opener, Wesley Madhevere (17).
Zimbabwe lost 2 wickets, the run wheel slowed down after that. Meanwhile, Milton Shumba (8) became a victim of Shadab in the 10th over. Then Raza and Sean Williams made a pair of 31 runs. Williams returned to the pavilion while playing a reverse sweep off Shadab. 31 runs came from 28 balls from his bat.
Regis Chakabva gave away a catch at slip on Shadab’s next ball. Pakistan captain Babar Azam took the catch with one hand keeping his eyes like a hunter along the line of the ball. After that, Zimbabwe looked hopeful with the bat of Raza. However, he could not shine against Pakistan on this day. He left the field for 9 runs with a catch while playing at square leg off Wasim’s ball.
The Pakistani pacer raised the possibility of a hat-trick with the wicket of Luke Jongwe in the next ball. Although he didn’t have a hat trick in the end. In the end, 31 runs came from the pair of Ryan Burl and Evans. Evans was out for 19 off 15 balls. Burl scored 10 runs. Wasim scalped the highest number of 4 wickets for Pakistan. Besides, Shadab took 3 wickets and Haris Rauf took 1 wicket each for the losing side.
Zimbabwe – 130/8 (20.0)
Pakistan – 129/8 (20.0)
Result – Zimbabwe won by 1 run
Player of the match – Sikandar Raza
PAK vs ZIM Playing XIs
|PAK||Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shan Masood, Shadab Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Haider Ali, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf.|
|ZIM||Craig Ervine (c), Regis Chakabva (wk), Milton Shumba, Wesley Madhevere, Sean Williams, Luke Jongwe, Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, Brad Evans, Blessing Muzarabani, and Richard Ngarava.|