Pakistan 195 for 1 (Zaman 117*, Imam 44) beat Zimbabwe 194 (Masakadza 59, Moor 50, Usman 4-36) by nine wickets
By Kevin Mapasure
A DEPLETED Zimbabwe national cricket team suffered another heavy defeat at the hands of their guests Pakistan in the second of their five-match one day international (ODI) series at Qeens Sports Club in Bulawayo yesterday, this time losing by nine wickets.
After they were pummelled by 201 runs in the first match on Friday, the home side sought a response, at least a fight in this one, but despite their efforts, where Hamilton Masakadza and Peter Moor scored a half century each after choosing to bat first, Pakistan were just too efficient even though one would feel they were not even pushed hard.
Nothing has gone right for Zimbabwe in this series, starting from the T-20 triangular that involved Pakistan and Australia.
The unavailability of key players, who chose to withdraw their services over unfulfilled financial promises, hit Zimbabwe hard and they are feeling it all the way.
Yesterday, Fakhar Zaman showed no mercy for the predominantly reserve side, hitting 117 not out in his team’s successful chase of a victory target of 195, which they achieved with 84 balls remaining.
Babar Azam was also undefeated on 29, while Imam-Ul-Haq lost his wicket via a run-out after putting 44 runs on the board.
It was Zaman who took all the limelight, as he bashed 16 boundaries in his 129 ball knock.
Try as they did, the Zimbabwe bowlers struggled for wickets and none had a sub-four economy among the five that were used by Hamilton.
Wellington Masakadza bowled 10 overs for 61 runs, while Blessing Muzarabani and Donald Tiripano were given seven each.
It was a tough day in the field for Zimbabwe and it wasn’t easier with the bat, as Pakistan enjoyed regular wickets in Zimbabwe’s attempt to make use of the morning conditions to put up a competitive score on the board.
Openers Brian Chari and Chamu Chibhabha targeted a good start, but soon, Zimbabwe were limping after losing the former, who had made just one run from 15 balls.
Chibhabha didn’t hang around too long, as he, too, was sent back to the hut, falling to the combination of Ahmed, who took the catch and four-wicket hero Usman Khan, just as in the case of his opening partner.
Hamilton Masakadza and Tarisai Musakanda attempted to steady the ship with a 34-run partnership, which was Zimbabwe’s biggest.
Hamilton went on to reach his half-ton after Musakanda had been trapped leg before wicket by Hasan Ali.
By the time Hamilton became Shoaib Malik’s victim, he had hit five fours and two sixes to reach 59 runs from 75 deliveries.
Peter Moor hung on for Zimbabwe and he looked the best hope of surpassing the 200-run mark, but Ali rid his team of him, but not before he celebrated his half century.
There wasn’t much else impressive on the Zimbabwe score card, with Ryan Murray scoring 16, while Tiripano (13) and Wellington (12) also had double figures.
In the end, they knew that 194 was not going to be enough and it also allowed the Pakistan batsmen to swing with freedom.