QASIM Akram’s unbeaten 57 trumped Sean Williams’s half-century as Pakistan A beat Zimbabwe Select by five runs under the Duckworth and Lewis method as the match was called off due to bad light in the third Unofficial One Day International yesterday at the Harare Sports Club.
Pakistan A captain Hussain Talat called correctly at the toss for the third time and inserted Zimbabwe in to bat and the move paid dividends when Joylord Gumbie was trapped leg before wicket for 1 by Shahnawaz Dahani in the second over.
Tadiwanashe Marumani and Wessly Madhevere shared a second wicket partnership of 56 runs and ensured that for the first time in the series the Zimbabwe Select team did not lose group wickets in the powerplay.
Marumani who was looking set played across a Mohammad Ali delivery to be trapped lbw for 29 from 45 balls.
Yesterday’s wicket got better as the day progressed allowing the Zimbabwe pair of Madhevere and Craig Ervine to press home the good start they had.
Just as the home team was threatening to take the game away from Pakistan A with a third wicket partnership of 53, Madhevere was trapped lbw by Kamran Ghulam nine short of a half-century.
The day, however, belonged to Zimbabwe’s experienced campaigner Williams who took the attack to the Shaheens.
He was severe on anything short, used the conventional and reverse sweep against spinners, in a stroke-filled knock of 78 from 59 balls which included six 4s and three towering sixes.
The Zimbabwe Test captain is getting back in form just in time before the crucial World Cup Qualifiers next month.
Zimbabwe eventually ended on 278 all out as the Shaheens finished their overs 30 minutes past scheduled time, something that had a bearing on the game which could not finish in time and had to be decided by the Duckworth and Lewis method due to bad light.
In reply to Zimbabwe Select's total, the Shaheens were circumspect as Tendai Chatara gave nothing away in the powerplay.
Saim Ayub, who is having a quiet series, tried to take on Chatara, but could only manage a return catch back to the bowler, Pakistan A 47-1.
Zimbabwe Select did not strike at regular intervals due to some poor fielding, Faraz Akram being the chief culprit.
Another opener Muhammad Hurraira was removed by Victor Nyauchi who came in for the injured Tanaka Chivanga who was substituted due to a concussion he suffered while batting.
With the World Cup Qualifiers around the corner, Zimbabwe Select will rue all the missed chances and unable to pull the killer blow after reducing the 169-6 after 32 overs.
Pakistan A were further reduced to 246-8 after overs, but Zimbabwe could not bowl out the Shaheens largely to Qasim Akram unbeaten 57 from 40 balls as he took the game deeper with the tourists staying ahead of Duckworth and Lewis par score.
Umpires Iknow Chabi and Tafadzwa Musakwa eventually called the game off due to bad light and the tourists kept the series alive.
Chatara once again led from the front with four wickets for 53 runs.