April 15, 2000

Cable and Wireless ODIs: Pakistan beat Zimbabwe

St George's (Grenada), April 15: Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by six wickets in the 5th match of the Triangular One-Day series here at the Queen's Park Stadium on Saturday.

They have now qualified to play West Indies in the best of three finals beginning on Wednesday. Imran Nazir the new Pakistan opener scored a unbeaten 105 with the help of 10 boundaries and 2 sixes.

Final score: Zimbabwe 204 for 7 (50 overs), Pakistan 205 for 4 (43.1 overs).

Earlier Report: Zimbabwe 204/7 after fine start

St George's (Grenada), April 15: Pakistan have been set a target shade over four runs an over after restricting Zimbabwe to 204 for seven in 50 overs in the tri-series match at the Queen's Park Stadium here on Saturday.

Pakistan were able to contain the Zimbabwe innings to a minimum was due mainly through some good economical bowling by spinners Mushtaq Ahmed and Arshad Khan, who were well assisted by all-rounder Abdur Razzaq. Mushtaq claimed one for 27, Arshad three for 43 and Abdur Razzaq was as much steady with two for 32.

Zimbabwe were provided an excellent start by openers Neil Johnson and Craig Wishart after captain Andy Flower won the toss and decided to bat first. The openers put on 84 runs at about four runs an over to leave a launching pad to build on to for the rest of the batsmen. But once the two departed things started to slow down for Zimbabwe and the rest except Murray Goodwin were unable to pierce the gap regularly to increase the run rate.

Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis bowled to a poor line in their first spells, conceding 27 and 21 runs respectively in their first six overs. The run rate started to slacken after Razzaq and Mushtaq were brought on. In the 23rd over Razzaq had Wishart caught at mid-wicket by Younis Khan to break the opening stand. Wishart made 45 off 69 balls with three fours.

The next to go was Stuart Carlisle when Arshad forced him back and bowled him for five. Not much later Arshad took a catch off Mushtaq Ahmed at short mid-wicket to dismiss Johnson who made an attractive 43 off 94 balls with four fours.

Andy Flower and Goodwin came together in a fourth wicket stand of 59. Goodwin was caught by substitute Shoaib Malik at short third man off a top edge as he went for a big hit for 35. Arshad, bowling a tight line, plucked a catch off his own bowling when Andy Flower was 31.

From 177 for three in the 44th over, Zimbabwe failed to force the pace as they kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. On a slow wicket and heavy outfield, however, the target would not be as easy as Pakistan may think because Zimbabwe are a good fielding side.