ICC Cricket World Cup, 2010/11 / Commentary

ICC Cricket World Cup - 33rd match, Group A

Pakistan v Zimbabwe

Pakistan won by 7 wickets (with 23 balls remaining) (D/L method)

Hello everyone, and warm greetings to you all. Welcome to ESPNcricinfo's coverage of Pakistan's game against Zimbabwe at Pallekele. We're seeing pictures of a very overcast stadium, although apparently the Met. department says there's only a 30% chance of rain, so lets hope for a full, uninterrupted match. There's still a chance of thunderstorms later.

There are a couple of questions for both sides with regards to team selection. Will Zimbabwe go for the spin heavy attack once again? Will Charles Coventry find his way back into the XI in this must-win game? And who knows whether Umar Akmal will be included? Such are the mysteries of life. If you think you know who's likely to play, then you should try our team selector to predict the playing XIs for today's game.

There's also time to fine-tune your Fantasy teams. Ian Chappell, Geoffrey Boycott, Harsha Bhogle, Sanjay Manjrekar.....some of the people playing our World Cup fantasy game. What about you? Click here.

We've just had a look at the pitch. It looks generally dry but there's a decent covering of grass and, especially in overcast conditions, there could be signifcant movement with the new ball and variable bounce later on. Bowl first, reckons Russell Arnold. There's also the ubiquitous 'dew factor', a shadowy figure who always seems to strike at the most inconvenient times, and has played a role in previous games at this ground.

We're just a few minutes away from the toss, and the good news is that the covers are off. If you've got some time to kill before play starts, you could do far worse than to check out Sahil Dutta's rather brilliant preview for this game. It's got everything you'd want in a preview, and more. Read it, now!

If cultured, composed and erudite conversation with fellow fans is your thing, please head down to our Facebook page. And tame the wild beasts therein.

Zimbabwe have won the toss and will bat first, which is slightly surprising given the conditions. "If we play better cricket, we'll win," says Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura, rather obviously. Rameez Raja's chat with Shahid Afridi is slightly more entertaining. "If Kamran is keeping, why is he keeping," asked Rameez, quite brazenly, but the question was swatted out of the park in typical Afridi fashion.

Apparently Kamran's realised what he's done wrong in the past, and those mistakes have been corrected. So there you go, mystery over. Wahab Riaz and Asad Shafiq are back, while two huge names, Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Akmal sit out today.

Zimbabwe's decision to bat first is not the only surprising thing about their team plans today. Shingi Masakadza, a tall, right-arm seamer and Hamilton's younger brother, comes in for his first game of the tournament. No word on whether Chris Mpofu's injured, but you'd think that'd be the only reason he's not playing today. There's another newcomer to Zimbabwe's XI: Vusi Sibanda, who replaced the injured Sean Williams, comes in to bolster the batting. He can slot in anywhere in the top order, but the opening combo is likely to be Taylor/Chakabva after their success in the last game.

"Today is Chigumbura's Birthday, he must open the batting and make century after drop by Kamran Akmal for 0," writes a very cheeky Imran Panjwani.

Hissam gives us two, slightly flaky, reasons to lay off Kamran: "Stop picking on Kamran Akmal, he's cute, he's a keeper."

2.18pm Bad news! It's raining again in Pallekele we've just heard! Our man at the ground tells us the covers are on and the weather is ominous. "Is the match delayed"" asks Watson. Not yet, no... Thick bank of cloud around the ground. The entire playing area is covered, which is going to juice up the wicket too.

2.26pm Covers coming off now. The match start will be delayed, but only slightly.

2.32pm The teams are coming out onto the field now, the rain has eased off for now. The new start time will be 2.40pm.

2.38pm The players are out in the middle, the weather's good for now, and we're set to start in a moment or two.

0.1

Abdul Razzaq to Taylor, no run, definite swing first up, tailing in through the air. Taylor pushes slightly too early and the ball goes uppishly, but falling safely, towards mid-on.

0.2

Abdul Razzaq to Taylor, 1 wide, this wobbles the other way ... but starts too far from off and goes further. Called wide

0.2

Abdul Razzaq to Taylor, no run, great line from Razzaq, on off stump. Taylor's not sure which way the ball's going so he's got to prop forward in defence. Past the outside edge

0.3

Abdul Razzaq to Taylor, FOUR, well, what timing! That was just a firm push to cover, but it's beaten the fielder to the boundary. Back of a length, Taylor stood tall and punched, finding the gap. Taylor's away

0.4

Abdul Razzaq to Taylor, no run, big appeal! That has hooped in through the air, but strikes Taylor above the knee roll. Not out

0.5

Abdul Razzaq to Taylor, OUT, Kamran's caught one! huge blow for Zimbabwe, Taylor falls. He walked forward into a drive, pushing his hands out at an outswinger. A thick edge nestles safely in the keepers' gloves

BRM Taylor c †Kamran Akmal b Abdul Razzaq 4 (3m 5b 1x4 0x6) SR: 80.00

0.6

Abdul Razzaq to Taibu, no run, full, moving gently in. Taibu presses forward to defend

That really is a big blow for Zimbabwe, Taylor's been their best batsman in this tournament and they would have been looking to him to carry the line-up today. His early dismissal, in conditions that vastly aid Pakistan's fast bowlers, begs the question: why on earth did Zimbabwe choose to bat first?

End of over 1 (5 runs) Zimbabwe 5/1 (RR: 5.00)
T Taibu    0* (1b)      Abdul Razzaq    1-0-5-1
RW Chakabva    0* (0b)     

1.1

Umar Gul to Chakabva, no run, outswinger from Gul to start, too wide of the stumps to be of any danger and Reggie leaves alone

1.2

Umar Gul to Chakabva, no run, this one's gone out again, until it passes the batsmen, at which point it goes the other way. Good take from Kamran ...

1.3

Umar Gul to Chakabva, no run, bang on target, on a length and aimed at off stump. Chakabva defends

1.4

Umar Gul to Chakabva, no run, accurate start from Gul, zoning in on a length and again Chakabva defends

1.5

Umar Gul to Chakabva, no run, a touch fuller this time, this didn't move too much through the air but seamed in off the pitch. Forward defence from Chakabva

1.6

Umar Gul to Chakabva, OUT, There's another one! Wrapped right infront of leg stump and he's given out. Chakabva thinks about the review - it could well have been slipping down leg with the movement and on the angle - but decides against it. Zimbabwe in early trouble here

RW Chakabva lbw b Umar Gul 0 (9m 6b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

End of over 2 (wicket maiden) Zimbabwe 5/2 (RR: 2.50)
     Umar Gul    1-1-0-1
T Taibu    0* (1b)      Abdul Razzaq    1-0-5-1

2.1

Abdul Razzaq to Taibu, 3 runs, cautiously played by Taibu, pressing well forward. The ball takes a thick inside edge, rolling through square leg ... and a slightly comical misfield allows them back for the third

2.2

Abdul Razzaq to Sibanda, no run, bang on a length, but defended solidly enough by Sibanda

2.3

Abdul Razzaq to Sibanda, no run, this has jagged viciously off the seam, coming back in to strike Sibanda on the pad

2.4

Abdul Razzaq to Sibanda, 1 run, extravagant inswing, Sibanda comes forward with pad and bat together, and the steal a single as the ball rolls to leg. Half an appeal, but possibly bat on that

2.5

Abdul Razzaq to Taibu, no run, outswinger, watched very closely by Taibu as he taps to gully

2.6

Abdul Razzaq to Taibu, no run, pushed to mid-on, no run there

End of over 3 (4 runs) Zimbabwe 9/2 (RR: 3.00)
T Taibu    3* (4b)      Abdul Razzaq    2-0-9-1
V Sibanda    1* (3b)      Umar Gul    1-1-0-1

"Considering Pakistan's in-ability against the moving ball, Zimababwe decesion to bat is simply illogical....Pakistan could have collapsed here...," writes Waqas. Indeed, it's a baffling decision that does little more than heap the pressure on a brittle batting line-up

3.1

Umar Gul to Sibanda, no run, hitting the deck hard, the ball rises towards the top of off and is defended

3.2

Umar Gul to Sibanda, no run, fuller this time, attacking the stumps. Sibanda is slightly late and off-balance in defence, but survives

3.3

Umar Gul to Sibanda, FOUR, good-looking drive from Sibanda, threading a full ball through point with a square drive. Technically just about perfect

3.4

Umar Gul to Sibanda, no run, typical fast bowler's reply, digging it in very short. Sibanda may well have been expecting it, he ducked under in good time

asadkm: "Well if Zimbabwe puts up a total of around 200 and then pakistan has to chase under lights, then we might find the answer to why zimbabwe choose to bat first."

3.5

Umar Gul to Sibanda, no run, yorker! Sibanda digs it out, and is immediately surrounded by the Pakistan fielders inside the ring. Plenty of chatter and pressure on the batsmen

3.6

Umar Gul to Sibanda, no run, good, full length inswinger. Sibanda lunges forward in defence

End of over 4 (4 runs) Zimbabwe 13/2 (RR: 3.25)
V Sibanda    5* (9b 1x4)      Umar Gul    2-1-4-1
T Taibu    3* (4b)      Abdul Razzaq    2-0-9-1

4.1

Abdul Razzaq to Taibu, no run, some width offered outside off, Taibu gets a good connection on the cut but picks out point

4.2

Abdul Razzaq to Taibu, no run, that's the length, fuller from Razzaq, and swinging in. Defended

4.3

Abdul Razzaq to Taibu, no run, fuller still, outside off. Taibu drives to mid-off without much timing

4.4

Abdul Razzaq to Taibu, no run, wider still, Taibu does the right thing and whips the bat up to leave

We feel for Andrew: "I have no hair left because I've torn it all out. Why did Elton Chigumbura opt to bat under overcast skies and with possible dew later on? The incompetence of my team is truly something to behold. Worst World Cup ever for Zimbabwe. Utterly demoralised."

4.5

Abdul Razzaq to Taibu, no run, another drive from Taibu, timed slightly better but he can't find the gap

4.6

Abdul Razzaq to Taibu, no run, and shuffling defence to finish another tight over from Pakistan's seamers

End of over 5 (maiden) Zimbabwe 13/2 (RR: 2.60)
T Taibu    3* (10b)      Abdul Razzaq    3-1-9-1
V Sibanda    5* (9b 1x4)      Umar Gul    2-1-4-1

Srikanth: "When the match is over and the dust settles on the pitch, Kamran Akmal will ask for a medal since it is his catch that have set things rolling. What might have been a regulation catch for any other keeper is a miracle for Akmal. Guess nobody was more surprised than he himslef, when the catch was taken. Trust this gives him the confidence in his ability. Pakistan are without a reserve keeper and they need Akmal to bail them out with his work behind the wickets...."

5.1

Umar Gul to Sibanda, no run, both seamers are working up great rhythm and hitting good lengths here. Nice and full, inside edge on the defence

5.2

Umar Gul to Sibanda, OUT, what a catch! Sibanda steps forward to defend, uncertain of which way the ball will wobble. It comes in on the angle but then jags away and bounces, taking a healthy edge and flying to first slip where Misbah tumbled to his right to pluck the ball out of thin air

V Sibanda c Misbah-ul-Haq b Umar Gul 5 (14m 11b 1x4 0x6) SR: 45.45

Zimbabwe, frankly, naive decision to bat first in humid, overcast conditions tailormade for fast bowlers claims another victim. Not much Sibanda could have done differently there

5.3

Umar Gul to Ervine, no run, angling across the left-hander on a good length, but wide of off and left alone

5.4

Umar Gul to Ervine, FOUR, Umar is working up good pace here, but the extra pace has pinged off the bat and raced to the cover boundary here. Ervine just stepped into a drive, all timing there

5.5

Umar Gul to Ervine, no run, a snorter of a bouncer! Ervine almost fell over backwards getting out of the way. Great direction on a brute of a short ball. Ervine's not the most comfortable against short bowling

5.6

Umar Gul to Ervine, no run, another huge appeal! Is it for lbw or a catch? Leg-before I think, as the ball swung in and wrapped him on the pad. Possibly pitching outside leg, possibly missing leg. Not given.

This is just a lottery of survival for Zimbabwe's batsmen at the moment

End of over 6 (4 runs) Zimbabwe 17/3 (RR: 2.83)
CR Ervine    4* (4b 1x4)      Umar Gul    3-1-8-2
T Taibu    3* (10b)      Abdul Razzaq    3-1-9-1

6.1

Abdul Razzaq to Taibu, 1 run, a thick inside edge to a full length ball rolls down to fine leg, and they amble through for one

Imran: "Its really surprising that everybody is talking abt pakistan's inability to play swinging ball....but nobody is appreciting their abilty to swing the ball...for me they one of the best attacks in the tournament undoubtedly..."

6.2

Abdul Razzaq to Ervine, no run, going across the left-hander, moving towards the slips through the air. Left alone

6.3

Abdul Razzaq to Ervine, no run, better directed, but the length is just as good. Ervine presses half-forward in defence

6.4

Abdul Razzaq to Ervine, 1 run, that's where Ervine scores so many of his runs at the start of his innings - down to third man. He presses forward and angles his bat, letting ball hit bat and playing with soft hands

6.5

Abdul Razzaq to Taibu, 1 run, a similar shot, but in mirror-image as Taibu runs it down too

Priyabrat: "I disagree about the criticism by others over Zimbabwe's decision to bat first. The thought in Zimbabwe camp would have been to avoid batting second, given the clouds over the ground, and knowing that DL method rarely helps the team chasing. That is why they have taken the risk of batting first!"

6.6

Abdul Razzaq to Ervine, no run, great attacking line, wobbling around full on middle. Ervine defends

End of over 7 (3 runs) Zimbabwe 20/3 (RR: 2.85)
CR Ervine    5* (8b 1x4)      Abdul Razzaq    4-1-12-1
T Taibu    5* (12b)      Umar Gul    3-1-8-2

Two slips remain for Umar

7.1

Umar Gul to Taibu, no run, unplayable! Umar lands one on a length on off stump, and it spits off the surface and jags away. Taibu hangs his bat out in hope more than anything, and is lucky not to edge that

7.2

Umar Gul to Taibu, no run, fuller, coming in this time. Driven to mid-on with straight bat and high left elbow

Adnan: "If Pakistan wants to win this match, they must demolish Zimbabwe before 150, else it will be close match under clouds.." Well, they're on course to do just that.

7.3

Umar Gul to Taibu, no run, bouncer from Umar, it balloons over the diminutive Taibu. Not a wide though

7.4

Umar Gul to Taibu, FOUR, slapped on the up through cover point! A brave shot, but it's positive at least and that's what Zimbabwe need. Taibu is carrying Zimbabwe's hopes now

7.5

Umar Gul to Taibu, no run, straighter, and fuller. Taibu taps to mid-on with a loud "no!"

7.6

Umar Gul to Taibu, 1 run, nice shot again from Taibu, not for the power in it, but for the way it's played. He comes well forward, eyes wide on the ball, and plays through midwicket for one. Safe runs

End of over 8 (5 runs) Zimbabwe 25/3 (RR: 3.12)
T Taibu    10* (18b 1x4)      Umar Gul    4-1-13-2
CR Ervine    5* (8b 1x4)      Abdul Razzaq    4-1-12-1

Bowling change, here's Wahab Riaz

8.1

Wahab Riaz to Taibu, 1 run, Taibu pushes his hands at a length ball, it goes down on the leg side and they sprint a quick single

Syed: "Its always a good idea to bat first against pakistan, regardless of the conditions. Zimbabwe did not take this decision implusively."

8.2

Wahab Riaz to Ervine, no run, a touch too short to get the ball moving, back of a length and Ervine drops it to leg

8.3

Wahab Riaz to Ervine, no run, fuller, still not much movement for Riaz as Ervine comes forward to defend

Two Faced Riddler weighs in: "Under lights the ZIM spinners (their strength) will get even less purchase with all the dew and ball skidding on. Ridiculous decision."

8.4

Wahab Riaz to Ervine, no run, just short of a good length again, Ervine stays deep and defends to leg

8.5

Wahab Riaz to Ervine, no run, width offered by Riaz, Ervine stands tall and cracks to point, but straight to the fielder

8.6

Wahab Riaz to Ervine, 3 runs, nicely placed by Ervine, he steps forward and whips through a straight midwicket. The ball won't reach the boundary but they're back for the third

End of over 9 (4 runs) Zimbabwe 29/3 (RR: 3.22)
CR Ervine    8* (13b 1x4)      Wahab Riaz    1-0-4-0
T Taibu    11* (19b 1x4)      Umar Gul    4-1-13-2

Vinoth: "Remember! Same kind of thing happnd for zimbabwe when they played against canada! they lost a couple of wickets early. taibu with 98 and ervine with 85 rescued them by putting some good total. hoping for the same thing today to see a good contest." A slight difference in class between the Canada and Pakistan attacks, however

9.1

Abdul Razzaq to Ervine, 1 run, full and angling across, the ball hits the seam and comes back in, taking a thick inside edge as Ervine drives and rolling through square leg

9.2

Abdul Razzaq to Taibu, 1 run, nicely played by Taibu, forced through backward point

9.3

Abdul Razzaq to Ervine, no run, nice and straight, zoning in on off stump. Ervine defends

9.4

Abdul Razzaq to Ervine, no run, fuller, Razzaq attacks the stumps. Ervine responds the a perpendicular straight bat in defence

9.5

Abdul Razzaq to Ervine, no run, just short of a good length, Ervine gets across and defends to leg

9.6

Abdul Razzaq to Ervine, FOUR, pure class in that shot. In swinging conditions, against a new ball with his team in trouble, Ervine steps forward and caresses a cover drive through extra cover. A thing of aesthetic wonder

End of over 10 (6 runs) Zimbabwe 35/3 (RR: 3.50)
CR Ervine    13* (18b 2x4)      Abdul Razzaq    5-1-18-1
T Taibu    12* (20b 1x4)      Wahab Riaz    1-0-4-0

No surprises here, they take the Bowling Powerplay straight away. Riaz continues

10.1

Wahab Riaz to Taibu, no run, nasty, rising ball at little Taibu. He stands to his full height and defends it down from in front of his face

10.2

Wahab Riaz to Taibu, no run, back of a length again, outside off. Taibu tries to force to cover but the ball comes off the splice

Tahir: "I ageed with Adnan,above 150 will problem for pakistan in cloudy weather and pakistan must remember DL"

10.3

Wahab Riaz to Taibu, FOUR, take that! Riaz goes full outside off and Taibu seizes on the opportunity, driving confidently up and over mid-off. A couple of bounces and over the ropes

10.4

Wahab Riaz to Taibu, 1 run, rising outside off, Taibu angles the bat to get it down to third man

Emad Khan: "In response to Imran, to me Pakistan fast bowling is not good at all, look what NZ did to them, It was only Shahid who is bowling well and Gul was good only in last match, Zimbabia batting first is not illogical keep in view rain addvantage (D/L advantage) poor batting of Pakistan in any conditions and some rain water will give more life to pitch and will be difficult to chase even small total..."

10.5

Wahab Riaz to Ervine, no run, full, angling towards leg stump. Ervine clips quite neatly, but straight to the close midwicket fielder

10.6

Wahab Riaz to Ervine, no run, length on off stump this time. Ervine drops it towards cover, but the fielders converge in a flash so there's no chance of a single

End of over 11 (5 runs) Zimbabwe 40/3 (RR: 3.63)
CR Ervine    13* (20b 2x4)      Wahab Riaz    2-0-9-0
T Taibu    17* (24b 2x4)      Abdul Razzaq    5-1-18-1

Marcus Feaver: "The two guys at the crease are Zimbabwe's future. Hope they can put on a big stand and help Zim get the points. Taibu really ought to be captain so Chigumbura can play his natural game." It would be good for Zimbabwe's cricket to have a free-flowing Chigumbura in their ranks again

11.1

Abdul Razzaq to Taibu, no run, full and wobbling in on off stump, solid defence from Taibu

11.2

Abdul Razzaq to Taibu, 1 run, Taibu guides down to third man, but slightly uppishly through gully

Ray Price is sitting next to Alan Butcher and he can at least manage a smile. Probably because he's not in to bat next

11.3

Abdul Razzaq to Ervine, no run, ouch, Ervine's been pinged there. Length ball, jagging in to beat the bat. He's down and breathing heavily for a moment, and then gingerly lifting his legs

11.4

Abdul Razzaq to Ervine, no run, good leave from Ervine, to a ball leaving him around off stump

11.5

Abdul Razzaq to Ervine, no run, just about perfect line to the left-hander, close on off stump. Ervine defends

11.6

Abdul Razzaq to Ervine, no run, dropped by Misbah at first slip! It was full, outside off and nibbling away. Ervine went forward to drive, a thick edge flew to Misbah's right. He got the hands to it but it popped out. "You've just dropped the World Cup," Ervine tells him. Possibly.

End of over 12 (1 run) Zimbabwe 41/3 (RR: 3.41)
CR Ervine    13* (24b 2x4)      Abdul Razzaq    6-1-19-1
T Taibu    18* (26b 2x4)      Wahab Riaz    2-0-9-0

12.1

Wahab Riaz to Taibu, 1 run, tapped away square by Taibu, they take a gentle single

12.2

Wahab Riaz to Ervine, 1 run, rising off a length outside off, Ervine cracks it nicely behind point, and third man runs around to clean up

12.3

Wahab Riaz to Taibu, no run, Taibu is struck a painful blow on the glove! It was a short-ish, rising ball, and he didn't know what to do with it so just wore one

12.4

Wahab Riaz to Taibu, OUT, gone! The crucial wicket falls, Taibu's gone. The ball was fuller and he was trying to lift it over the off side. It hits the toe of the bat, however, looping to Afridi, who's run around from mid-off.

T Taibu c Shahid Afridi b Wahab Riaz 19 (54m 29b 2x4 0x6) SR: 65.51

Just when they're starting to rebuild, Zimbabwe lose another.

12.5

Wahab Riaz to Lamb, no run, popping up from a length, Lamb defends slightly awkwardly to cover

12.6

Wahab Riaz to Lamb, no run, wide of off, left alone

End of over 13 (2 runs) Zimbabwe 43/4 (RR: 3.30)
GA Lamb    0* (2b)      Wahab Riaz    3-0-11-1
CR Ervine    14* (25b 2x4)      Abdul Razzaq    6-1-19-1

13.1

Abdul Razzaq to Ervine, no run, beaten on the outside edge! Ervine comes forward to drive, the ball nips past him but dies off the pitch and bounces in front of Kamran

13.2

Abdul Razzaq to Ervine, no run, straighter, Ervine defends

13.3

Abdul Razzaq to Ervine, no run, Razzaq is playing with Ervine's patience outside off here. This is fuller, slightly wider. Ervine has a close look and leaves alone

13.4

Abdul Razzaq to Ervine, 3 runs, Ervine threads the gap at cover with a neat little punch, two fielders hare after it and ... interestingly both dive for it at the boundary. One of them manages to keep it inside the rope

13.5

Abdul Razzaq to Lamb, no run, half a foot outside off, Lamb leaves alone

Zimbabwe desperately need something special from these two. Lamb's never done it with the bat for them before, now is his chance

13.6

Abdul Razzaq to Lamb, 2 runs, inside edge! A loose waft from Lamb as the ball jags in, taking an inside edge and bouncing between batsman and his stumps. Close call

End of over 14 (5 runs) Zimbabwe 48/4 (RR: 3.42)
GA Lamb    2* (4b)      Abdul Razzaq    7-1-24-1
CR Ervine    17* (29b 2x4)      Wahab Riaz    3-0-11-1

Shahzaib: "I can't believe how people are talking about Pakistan can lose this match if Zimbawe manages to score 150+. First of all, Zimbawe does not have the BEST bowling attack and secondly, Pakistani batting order did collapse in 2 games but I don't see this happening EVERY TIME. Pakistan can and will chase any target given by Zim despite playing under lights and possibility of rain and DL"

14.1

Wahab Riaz to Ervine, no run, beaten outside off, perfect line from left-hander to left-hander

14.2

Wahab Riaz to Ervine, 1 run, tapped into the gap to the left of mid-on, Ervine calls for the single immediately

14.3

Wahab Riaz to Lamb, no run, full, just outside off. Lamb defends from the crease

14.4

Wahab Riaz to Lamb, no run, Lamb perhaps slightly beaten for a bit of pace there, ball hitting bat outside off. A rueful smile from him

14.5

Wahab Riaz to Lamb, 1 run, tapped into the leg side, they steal a quick single and there's Zimbabwe's 50

14.6

Wahab Riaz to Ervine, no run, forced into the covers, but straight to the fielder so no run there

End of over 15 (2 runs) Zimbabwe 50/4 (RR: 3.33)
CR Ervine    18* (32b 2x4)      Wahab Riaz    4-0-13-1
GA Lamb    3* (7b)      Abdul Razzaq    7-1-24-1

End of the Powerplay, and here's a change of bowler: Boom Boom himself will bowl

15.1

Shahid Afridi to Lamb, FOUR, not the greatest start from him, a loopy full toss that Lamb accepts gladly and slams down the ground for his first boundary

15.2

Shahid Afridi to Lamb, no run, much better, full outside off and spinning away. Played down to gully

15.3

Shahid Afridi to Lamb, no run, this one rushes straight on and quickly, Lamb defends

15.4

Shahid Afridi to Lamb, 1 run, slashed down to backward point, a diving fielder cuts it off but they commit to the run

15.5

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, no run, wrong 'un straight away from Afridi to the left-hander, picked by Ervine and defended

15.6

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, no run, tossed up well wide of off stump from over the wicket, Ervine leaves well alone

And that'll be drinks at Pallakele, with Pakistan in full control of their game against Zimbabwe. Time for a change in comms, here's Siddarth Ravindran

End of over 16 (5 runs) Zimbabwe 55/4 (RR: 3.43)
CR Ervine    18* (34b 2x4)      Shahid Afridi    1-0-5-0
GA Lamb    8* (11b 1x4)      Wahab Riaz    4-0-13-1

Thanks Liam

16.1

Wahab Riaz to Lamb, 2 runs, Lamb whips a short of length ball on the pads down to fine leg to pick up a couple

16.2

Wahab Riaz to Lamb, no run, Riaz has been bowling a decent pace today, constantly in the low to mid 140s, this one is 141kph, on a length and heading for off, defended

16.3

Wahab Riaz to Lamb, no run, shorter ball this time, angling across the batsman who is looking to tuck the ball from outside off towards leg, nowhere close to it

16.4

Wahab Riaz to Lamb, no run, Lamb is down on the ground after being struck on the 'unmentionables', a short of length ball which Lamb hops and looks to clip the ball towards square leg, he misses and the ball hits him where it hurts most

Lamb is shaken, but he is now set to continue batting

16.5

Wahab Riaz to Lamb, no run, short of length ball heading for off, the typical Wahab Riaz ball, blocked by Lamb

16.6

Wahab Riaz to Lamb, 1 run, once again it's a similar ball, Lamb looks to defend that but gets a bit of an inside-edge towards the leg side

End of over 17 (3 runs) Zimbabwe 58/4 (RR: 3.41)
GA Lamb    11* (17b 1x4)      Wahab Riaz    5-0-16-1
CR Ervine    18* (34b 2x4)      Shahid Afridi    1-0-5-0

17.1

Shahid Afridi to Lamb, 1 run, fullish ball, Lamb paddles it towards fine leg, didn't try to get much power on that

17.2

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, no run, straighter one, Ervine doesn't read it and is beaten outside off

17.3

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, no run, defended towards the off side by Ervine

17.4

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, 2 runs, chance of a run out, but that was a terrible effort from Wahab Riaz, Ervine tucked the ball towards short fine leg and set off belatedly for a single, he was only halfway down the crease when Riaz threw the ball toward Afridi at the non-striker's end, but the throw was so wide that Afridi had no chance of stopping that, and what's more there is an overthrow as well

17.5

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, no run, defended off the front foot to the off side

17.6

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, 1 run

End of over 18 (4 runs) Zimbabwe 62/4 (RR: 3.44)
CR Ervine    21* (39b 2x4)      Shahid Afridi    2-0-9-0
GA Lamb    12* (18b 1x4)      Wahab Riaz    5-0-16-1

18.1

Wahab Riaz to Ervine, no run, edge and that drops short, length ball on off, played tentatively off the back foot, takes the edge towards first slip and it lands just short of the waiting Younis at first slip

18.2

Wahab Riaz to Ervine, FOUR, much more confident this time, opens the face to steer the ball towards deep backward point, where some more amateurish fielding, this time by Abdur Rehman, gives away some extra runs, he slides feet first towards the ball at the boundary but can't stop it

18.3

Wahab Riaz to Ervine, no run, outside off, short of length and that batsman leaves it to the keeper

18.4

Wahab Riaz to Ervine, no run, this one slants in after pitching back of a length, jags in to get an inside-edge on to the pads

18.5

Wahab Riaz to Ervine, 1 run, on the pads, clipped behind square leg for a single

18.6

Wahab Riaz to Lamb, no run, wide outside off, left alone

Wasim Akram full of praise for Wahab, wants him to work on getting the ball back to the right-hander

End of over 19 (5 runs) Zimbabwe 67/4 (RR: 3.52)
GA Lamb    12* (19b 1x4)      Wahab Riaz    6-0-21-1
CR Ervine    26* (44b 3x4)      Shahid Afridi    2-0-9-0

19.1

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, no run, what was he trying there? a reverse-sweep that he wanted to get fine, edges it onto his pads

19.2

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, no run, length ball on the pads, defended to the leg side

19.3

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, no run, that's the dangerous ball, it was an offbreak from Afridi, not the googly, turns big and the batsman is fooled by it, can't get bat on it

19.4

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, FOUR, swept this time by Ervine, dangerously close to a diving Younis Khan at backward square leg, lands wide of him though and runs away for four

19.5

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, no run, defended by Ervine

19.6

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, no run, a review after the umpire turns the lbw down, that pitched well outside leg stump, so that review has been wasted, Kamran had suggested that it was pitching outside, but Pakistan decided to go for it anyway

End of over 20 (4 runs) Zimbabwe 71/4 (RR: 3.55)
CR Ervine    30* (50b 4x4)      Shahid Afridi    3-0-13-0
GA Lamb    12* (19b 1x4)      Wahab Riaz    6-0-21-1

20.1

Abdur Rehman to Lamb, 1 run, Rehman starts with a length ball outside off, slapped towards point

20.2

Abdur Rehman to Ervine, 2 runs, the paddle-sweep again, a fullish ball outside off, played well but not sure it is worth the risk for just a couple, given that deep fine leg is in place

20.3

Abdur Rehman to Ervine, 2 runs, full and outside off, carved towards deep backward point for a couple

20.4

Abdur Rehman to Ervine, 1 run, works it behind square on the leg side

20.5

Abdur Rehman to Lamb, no run, some turn for Rehman, and bounce as well, left alone outside off

20.6

Abdur Rehman to Lamb, no run, solid from Lamb, gets forward and blocks it

End of over 21 (6 runs) Zimbabwe 77/4 (RR: 3.66)
GA Lamb    13* (22b 1x4)      Abdur Rehman    1-0-6-0
CR Ervine    35* (53b 4x4)      Shahid Afridi    3-0-13-0

21.1

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, no run, length ball outside off, defended

21.2

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, no run, is that a drop? hard to say, but I think there was no edge, Ervine was looking to slap that to square leg, a shortish ball on leg, Akmal moved across but couldn't catch it

21.3

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, no run, defended off the front foot to the off side

21.4

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, 1 run, worked towards point for a single

21.5

Shahid Afridi to Lamb, no run, more defence off the front foot

21.6

Shahid Afridi to Lamb, no run, 'well bowled,' shouts Kamran, as Lamb pushes a length ball from Afridi towards mid-off to complete the over

End of over 22 (1 run) Zimbabwe 78/4 (RR: 3.54)
GA Lamb    13* (24b 1x4)      Shahid Afridi    4-0-14-0
CR Ervine    36* (57b 4x4)      Abdur Rehman    1-0-6-0

22.1

Abdur Rehman to Ervine, no run, solidly defended off the front foot

22.2

Abdur Rehman to Ervine, no run, more consistent bowling from Rehman, on a length and outside off, blocked by Ervine

22.3

Abdur Rehman to Ervine, 1 run, fuller this time on the pads, whipped towards wide mid-on

22.4

Abdur Rehman to Lamb, 1 run, swept powerfully to deep backward square leg

22.5

Abdur Rehman to Ervine, 1 run, another sweep, all along the ground, again deep square leg does the fielding

22.6

Abdur Rehman to Lamb, 2 runs, flighted delivery, lashes it off the front foot towards wide long-on, 'Two,' is call from the batsmen, and they scamper through

End of over 23 (5 runs) Zimbabwe 83/4 (RR: 3.60)
GA Lamb    16* (26b 1x4)      Abdur Rehman    2-0-11-0
CR Ervine    38* (61b 4x4)      Shahid Afridi    4-0-14-0

23.1

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, no run, outside off, dabbed towards short third

23.2

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, no run, works it towards short fine leg, no run again

23.3

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, 1 run, slides straight on, a length ball outside off, pushed in front of point

23.4

Shahid Afridi to Lamb, no run, length ball on offstump, solidly defended on the front foot

23.5

Shahid Afridi to Lamb, OUT, there's the wicket, a googly that wasn't picked up by the batsman, a short of length ball that comes in after pitching outside off, batsman goes for the booming drive, inside-edged and ends up popping it back to the bowler, Afridi has his first

GA Lamb c & b Shahid Afridi 16 (44m 28b 1x4 0x6) SR: 57.14

Birthday boy Elton Chigumbura comes in, all eyes on Kamran

23.6

Shahid Afridi to Chigumbura, 1 run, this one also slides into the batsman, quick delivery as well, defended

End of over 24 (2 runs) Zimbabwe 85/5 (RR: 3.54)
E Chigumbura    1* (1b)      Shahid Afridi    5-0-16-1
CR Ervine    39* (64b 4x4)      Abdur Rehman    2-0-11-0

It's getting very cloudy in Pallekele

24.1

Abdur Rehman to Chigumbura, no run, fullish ball on middle and leg, blocked towards the bowler

24.2

Abdur Rehman to Chigumbura, no run, full and outside off this time, defended off the front foot towards cover

24.3

Abdur Rehman to Chigumbura, no run, a bit of flight, slightly shorter, blocked towards cover

24.4

Abdur Rehman to Chigumbura, no run, length ball on off, this has been a good over from Rehman so far, defended

24.5

Abdur Rehman to Chigumbura, no run, more flight, spins a bit and that is defended off the back foot

24.6

Abdur Rehman to Chigumbura, no run, outside off, and Chigumbura pushes it towards point, Kamran shouts 'Well bowled' for the sixth time this over

End of over 25 (maiden) Zimbabwe 85/5 (RR: 3.40)
E Chigumbura    1* (7b)      Abdur Rehman    3-1-11-0
CR Ervine    39* (64b 4x4)      Shahid Afridi    5-0-16-1

25.1

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, 2 runs, bit of width and that is enough for the batsman to carve it to deep backward point

25.2

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, no run, length ball is pushed towards cover

25.3

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, FOUR, streaky, it was the legspinner, Ervine looks to defend off the front foot, gets the outside edge, but there is no first slip and Ervine gets four

25.4

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, no run, massive appeal for caught behind, there was a sound before Kamran collected the ball outside off, but replays show the ball was well wide of the outside edge

25.5

Shahid Afridi to Ervine, 1 run

25.6

Shahid Afridi to Chigumbura, no run, the Afridi wrong 'un nearly spoils Chigumbura's birthday, batsman doesn't read it, gets an inside-edge that squirts past the legstump

End of over 26 (7 runs) Zimbabwe 92/5 (RR: 3.53)
E Chigumbura    1* (8b)      Shahid Afridi    6-0-23-1
CR Ervine    46* (69b 5x4)      Abdur Rehman    3-1-11-0

26.1

Abdur Rehman to Ervine, no run, punched off the front foot towards mid-off

26.2

Abdur Rehman to Ervine, no run, stifled shout for lbw as Ervine defends to the off

26.3

Abdur Rehman to Ervine, no run, blocked back to the bowler

Groundstaff getting ready to cover the ground as rain seems imminent

26.4

Abdur Rehman to Ervine, 1 run, swept towards square leg for a single

26.5

Abdur Rehman to Chigumbura, no run, good use of the feet from Chigumbura, but he can't get a run, dances down and pushes the ball back to the bowler

26.6

Abdur Rehman to Chigumbura, no run, gets a good stride in and drives confidently, can't beat Afridi at cover

End of over 27 (1 run) Zimbabwe 93/5 (RR: 3.44)
E Chigumbura    1* (10b)      Abdur Rehman    4-1-12-0
CR Ervine    47* (73b 5x4)      Shahid Afridi    6-0-23-1

Umar Gul returns as Pakistan search for more wickets before the rain. One slip in place

27.1

Umar Gul to Ervine, 1 run, length ball outside off, driven powerfully towards cover

It's raining in Pallekele, not hard enough to stop play yet

27.2

Umar Gul to Chigumbura, 2 runs, short and wide, slapped hard towards deep backward point, smartly fielded by Hafeez near the boundary

6.10pm The covers are off, the Pakistan team are in a huddle, we're set to start.

It's a 43 overs a side match, Zimbabwe's batting Powerplay is reduced to 2 overs. When Pakistan bat, their mandatory Powerplay is for the first nine overs, and four overs each for the batting and bowling Powerplays. Pakistan's target will be adjusted by the D/L method.

5.55pm Aamir: "Its not a question of if Pakistan can still quality or not but it is a question of who will Pakistan plan in QF. we dont want to play India for sure in QF but in SF of Final. QF between Pakistan and India will end up breaking millions heart (either side) too early in the knock out."

Khalid has been spending time with Statsguru: "Fun Fact: Zimbabwe has been all out under 100 runs 12 times."

Zohaib: "if pakistan win or draws the match then wat happens?I reckon they are in the quarter even if they lose to australia???" Yes, one more point is enough for them to qualify.

Btw, there are two Supersoppers in Pallekele, doing their best to dry the outfield.

5.45pm Banna: "England may be happy to see a forty forty match in WC." I suppose Australian fans won't get a chance to see a split-innings one-day match in this World Cup.

Haider: "Question for the cricket gurus. Has Pakistan already qualified for the quarters or is there a chance they can still exit this round considering a loss here and against the aussies on Saturday?" Well, theoretically Pakistan haven't made it yet, if they lose today and to Australia, and Zimbabwe beat Kenya in their final league game, it will come down to a net run-rate situation between Pakistan and Zimbabwe. Here's the latest points table. Don't think Pakistan fans need to worry much, even if all the above results go against them, their net run-rate is pretty healthy.

Ashok Verma: "Chances that Pak will meet India in Quarters?? Anyone."

Ahmad from Germany: "Mathematically Zimbabwe has a chance if they beat Kenya with a big margin, say 250+, if Pakistan loss today and with Aussies. Realistically, Zimbabwe has no chance to Qualify."

5.35pm The umpires say the ground staff have done a great job so far, but they aren't sure when the game can start as yet. There won't be any play for another half an hour as well. They say we are looking at something like a 43 or 44 over a side game.

There are a few wet patches on the ground, the curator says we could be looking at a 6pm start, if the weather remains good.

Ahmed from Australia: "I like Imrans thinking. We could also have the umpires do a bit of a broadway muscial. As it is they stand out in the middle with their umbrellas doing who knows what? All set up for Mary Poppins i say. "

More sponges being lined up to dry out the wet patches in the pitch next to the one the match is being played on. Haven't spotted a Supersopper at the ground, would be handy given the amount of rain Sri Lanka receive.

Matt Gibb: "I just read the article about Alan Butcher's comments about how not playing Tests has hurt Zimbabwe's batting. I'm wondering when Zimbabwe's next Test match is, and what the plan for them in the long run is?"

Liam Brickhill, our Zimbabwe specialist, says there are plans to ease Zimbabwe back into Test cricket sometime later this year, though nothing is set in stone yet.

5.30pm The sun is peeking out, the rain has stopped, the fans are dancing in the stands, the covers are being slowly removed.

The umpires are out in the middle, having a chat with Sri Lankan cricket's national curator, Anuruddha Polonowita, about when play can start.

5.00pm: Good news, the rain has stopped. The covers are still on though, the ground staff had covered the entire ground, they are working on removing the covers now. No word yet on when play will resume.

Some water seems to have seeped under the covers, so there are plenty of people out there now with giant sponges to soak up the water.

4.40pm The rain is getting heavier, and play has been stopped. An army of groundstaff race in with massive covers.

Osman Samiuddin, our man at the ground, says: "A bit of amateur meteorology: showers are heavy, but clouds keep passing by so it may not be a huge delay though there might be regular interruptions through the day."

Imran: "I thick the ICC should try make the rain breaks more exciting for the crowds and for your commentary team.May be the 2 captains should toss and the one who losses the toss should be made to dress up in a giant marshmellow man suit and have to roll around to soak up water from the outfield rather than these giant sponges:)" Hmmm...

27.3

Umar Gul to Chigumbura, no run, Gul is right on target after the 99-minute break, a length ball on middle and off, defended by Chigumbura

27.4

Umar Gul to Chigumbura, no run, good pace from Gul, 147.6 kph, has Chigumbura fishing outside off, beaten

27.5

Umar Gul to Chigumbura, 1 run, length ball on the pads, tucked towards midwicket for a quick single

27.6

Umar Gul to Ervine, no run, back of a length ball, in the channel outside off, defended off the back foot towards point by Ervine

End of over 28 (4 runs) Zimbabwe 97/5 (RR: 3.46)
CR Ervine    48* (75b 5x4)      Umar Gul    5-1-17-2
E Chigumbura    4* (14b)      Abdur Rehman    4-1-12-0

Rehman to bowl

28.1

Abdur Rehman to Chigumbura, 1 run, length ball on the pads, clipped towards midwicket for a single

28.2

Abdur Rehman to Ervine, no run, on the pads again, Ervine can't get it away past square leg

28.3

Abdur Rehman to Ervine, 2 runs, and that's his half-century, second in World Cups, and third in his one-day career, and Zimbabwe's hundred comes up as well, all those milestones came up through a punch past extra cover

28.4

Abdur Rehman to Ervine, no run, spin and bounce for Rehman, turns in sharply and hits Ervine on the thigh pad

28.5

Abdur Rehman to Ervine, no run, blocked off the front foot towards the off side

28.6

Abdur Rehman to Ervine, 1 run, a confident sweep from outside off sends the ball towards deep backward square leg

End of over 29 (4 runs) Zimbabwe 101/5 (RR: 3.48)
CR Ervine    51* (80b 5x4)      Abdur Rehman    5-1-16-0
E Chigumbura    5* (15b)      Umar Gul    5-1-17-2

29.1

Mohammad Hafeez to Ervine, 1 run, Hafeez begins with a flighted and full ball on the pads, pushed towards midwicket

29.2

Mohammad Hafeez to Chigumbura, 1 run, over the wicket for the right-hander, length ball, Chigumbura sashays down the the track and punches the ball to long-on

29.3

Mohammad Hafeez to Ervine, OUT, end of Ervine, bowled him, that one kept a touch low and Ervine looks to cut, he misses and the ball crashes into middle and off, absolutely no footwork from Ervine, he is caught in the crease by a delivery he should have been forward to, he pays the price, Pakistan are delighted

CR Ervine b Mohammad Hafeez 52 (98m 82b 5x4 0x6) SR: 63.41

29.4

Mohammad Hafeez to Utseya, no run, Utseya punches this one towards mid-on

29.5

Mohammad Hafeez to Utseya, no run, length ball on offstump, defended to the leg side

29.6

Mohammad Hafeez to Utseya, 1 run, lap-swept by Utseya towards short fine leg for a single

End of over 30 (3 runs) Zimbabwe 104/6 (RR: 3.46)
P Utseya    1* (3b)      Mohammad Hafeez    1-0-3-1
E Chigumbura    6* (16b)      Abdur Rehman    5-1-16-0

30.1

Abdur Rehman to Utseya, no run, full and on the pads, tucked towards square leg, Utseysa wanted a single but the captain sent him back as Misbah was quickly onto the ball

30.2

Abdur Rehman to Utseya, no run, defended to the off side

30.3

Abdur Rehman to Utseya, no run, blocked back towards the bowler, Pakistan zipping through their overs

30.4

Abdur Rehman to Utseya, 1 run, a length ball is eased to the left of the diving bowler, to long-off for a single

30.5

Abdur Rehman to Chigumbura, 1 run, quicker one on the pads, nudged towards deep square leg

30.6

Abdur Rehman to Utseya, no run, length ball on off, circumspect defence to end the over

End of over 31 (2 runs) Zimbabwe 106/6 (RR: 3.41)
P Utseya    2* (8b)      Abdur Rehman    6-1-18-0
E Chigumbura    7* (17b)      Mohammad Hafeez    1-0-3-1

31.1

Mohammad Hafeez to Chigumbura, no run, length ball outside off, punched back to the bowler

31.2

Mohammad Hafeez to Chigumbura, 1 run, keeps it steady, on off and middle, worked to the leg side

31.3

Mohammad Hafeez to Utseya, 1 run, goes straight on this one, outside off, guided towards backward point

31.4

Mohammad Hafeez to Chigumbura, 1 run, looks to drive this one firmly down the ground, gets an outside edge towards backward point

31.5

Mohammad Hafeez to Utseya, 1 run, solidly driven off the front foot towards mid-on

31.6

Mohammad Hafeez to Chigumbura, no run, length ball, heading straight for off, defended cautiously

End of over 32 (4 runs) Zimbabwe 110/6 (RR: 3.43)
E Chigumbura    9* (21b)      Mohammad Hafeez    2-0-7-1
P Utseya    4* (10b)      Abdur Rehman    6-1-18-0

32.1

Abdur Rehman to Utseya, no run, a mix-up, but think the batsman has made his ground, third umpire called for, Utseya pushed the ball towards cover and set off for a run, sent back by the captain, Afridi does some fancy footwork before picking up the ball and throwing it to the keeper, that gives Utseya time to make a desperate lunge which takes him home

32.2

Abdur Rehman to Utseya, 1 run, worked behind square leg for a single

32.3

Abdur Rehman to Chigumbura, no run, blocked off the front foot towards the off side

32.4

Abdur Rehman to Chigumbura, no run, slightly shorter from Hafeez, punched back to the bowler

32.5

Abdur Rehman to Chigumbura, 1 leg bye, on the pads, helped towards short fine, non-striker was in a tearing hurry, which meant the fielder had to aim at the non-striker's end to try get Chigumbura out, enough time to complete a tight single

32.6

Abdur Rehman to Utseya, 1 run, pushed towards long-off for a single

End of over 33 (3 runs) Zimbabwe 113/6 (RR: 3.42)
P Utseya    6* (13b)      Abdur Rehman    7-1-20-0
E Chigumbura    9* (24b)      Mohammad Hafeez    2-0-7-1

33.1

Mohammad Hafeez to Utseya, 1 run, length ball on offstump, nudged towards square leg

33.2

Mohammad Hafeez to Chigumbura, 1 run, short of length, batsman comes down the track and drives the ball towards long-on

33.3

Mohammad Hafeez to Utseya, 1 run, outside off, solidly punched towards long-off to get the third single of the over

33.4

Mohammad Hafeez to Chigumbura, 1 run, length ball on offstump, steered towards square leg

33.5

Mohammad Hafeez to Utseya, no run, a touch short on middle and leg, defended off the back foot

33.6

Mohammad Hafeez to Utseya, no run, length and well outside off, more careful defence from Zimbabwe

End of over 34 (4 runs) Zimbabwe 117/6 (RR: 3.44)
P Utseya    8* (17b)      Mohammad Hafeez    3-0-11-1
E Chigumbura    11* (26b)      Abdur Rehman    7-1-20-0

Mandatory ball change

34.1

Abdur Rehman to Chigumbura, 1 wide, still the spinners continue, fired down the leg side, Akmal moves quickly across to collect that

34.1

Abdur Rehman to Chigumbura, 1 run, looked to dab towards midwicket, edged onto the pads, and the ball dribbles to the leg side, Akmal races out, picks up and throws down the stumps at the non-striker's end, run is taken though

34.2

Abdur Rehman to Utseya, no run

34.3

Abdur Rehman to Utseya, no run, defended to the off side

34.4

Abdur Rehman to Utseya, 1 run, off the pads towards square leg for a single

34.5

Abdur Rehman to Chigumbura, 1 run, shorter and on the pads, whipped towards deep square leg

34.6

Abdur Rehman to Utseya, no run, flighted, slower ball, on a length outside off, blocked to the off side

End of over 35 (4 runs) Zimbabwe 121/6 (RR: 3.45)
P Utseya    9* (21b)      Abdur Rehman    8-1-24-0
E Chigumbura    13* (28b)      Mohammad Hafeez    3-0-11-1

Umar Gul is back

35.1

Umar Gul to Chigumbura, FOUR, short of length and just outside off, neatly dabbed past the keeper for four, that would have been gobbled up by first slip but there isn't one

35.2

Umar Gul to Chigumbura, 1 run, superb delivery from Gul, 143 kph at the batsman's throat, batsman wasn't sure how to play that, somehow gets bat on it, ball rolls to the leg side and they steal a single

35.3

Umar Gul to Utseya, 1 run, full and speared into leg stump, clipped to deep square leg for a single

35.4

Umar Gul to Chigumbura, 1 run, length ball is driven towards mid-off, another sharp single is pinched, good work this from Zimbabwe

35.5

Umar Gul to Utseya, 1 run, short of a length and outside off, steered away adeptly towards third man, make that eight off the over so far

35.6

Umar Gul to Chigumbura, 1 run, good ball to end the over, a steepling bouncer, 140kph, batsman gets the bottom hand off the bat as he fends at it, the ball rolls towards short third man for another single

End of over 36 (9 runs) Zimbabwe 130/6 (RR: 3.61)
E Chigumbura    20* (32b 1x4)      Umar Gul    6-1-26-2
P Utseya    11* (23b)      Abdur Rehman    8-1-24-0

Afridi is back, can Zimbabwe deal with his quicker one?

36.1

Shahid Afridi to Chigumbura, no run, inside-edge saved him, else that was a goner, in front of middle a length ball

36.2

Shahid Afridi to Chigumbura, no run, hurries the batsman into defending that leg stump ball

36.3

Shahid Afridi to Chigumbura, no run, didn't know much about that, edged on to his back leg

36.4

Shahid Afridi to Chigumbura, 1 run, makes room and cuts a length ball on off towards backward point

36.5

Shahid Afridi to Utseya, 1 run, guides this one towards cover to get one more run

36.6

Shahid Afridi to Chigumbura, 1 run, short and strays onto the pads, glanced to short fine, and the batsmen continue to scamper well between the wickets to pinch a single

End of over 37 (3 runs) Zimbabwe 133/6 (RR: 3.59)
E Chigumbura    22* (37b 1x4)      Shahid Afridi    7-0-26-1
P Utseya    12* (24b)      Umar Gul    6-1-26-2

37.1

Umar Gul to Chigumbura, 1 run, length ball on middle, driven towards mid-on for a single

37.2

Umar Gul to Utseya, 1 run, short of length ball and outside off, controlled dab towards third man for a single

37.3

Umar Gul to Chigumbura, 1 run, gets this one away to deep backward square leg for another single

37.4

Umar Gul to Utseya, 1 run, what a bouncer that is, 142.3kph, on offstump, batsman weaves away and barely manages to get bat on it, the ball loops towards the vacant gully area, Gul wonders how that didn't fetch him a wicket

37.5

Umar Gul to Chigumbura, (no ball) 1 run, a legstump yorker that is dug out towards square leg, Gul has overstepped

37.5

Umar Gul to Utseya, 1 run, ambitiously attempts to scoop that over his shoulder, doesn't get hold of that full delivery and the ball dribbles towards short fine

37.6

Umar Gul to Chigumbura, 2 runs, close to off Chigumbura just dabs it and the ball goes wide of third man for a couple

End of over 38 (9 runs) Zimbabwe 142/6 (RR: 3.73)
E Chigumbura    27* (41b 1x4)      Umar Gul    7-1-35-2
P Utseya    15* (27b)      Shahid Afridi    7-0-26-1

38.1

Shahid Afridi to Utseya, 1 run, a full toss on middle is slapped to long-on

38.2

Shahid Afridi to Chigumbura, 1 run, tossed up, full on middle , driven to long-off for a single

38.3

Shahid Afridi to Utseya, 1 run, wide of offstump, carved towards sweeper cover

38.4

Shahid Afridi to Chigumbura, no run, worked towards cover by Chigumbura but can't find the gap

38.5

Shahid Afridi to Chigumbura, FOUR, Smash! ungainly shot but effective, gets down on his knee and hammers that fullish ball with a flat bat past long-on for four

38.6

Shahid Afridi to Chigumbura, no run, blocked towards the off side, think of a single before deciding against it

End of over 39 (7 runs) Zimbabwe 149/6
E Chigumbura    32* (45b 2x4)      Shahid Afridi    8-0-33-1
P Utseya    17* (29b)      Umar Gul    7-1-35-2

Powerplay taken, just two overs this one. Bad news, it's raining again

39.1

Umar Gul to Utseya, no run, that was quick, 145kph, on a length outside off, swing and a miss

39.2

Umar Gul to Utseya, 1 run, a near yorker on middle, batsman gets his feet out of the way and tucks the ball towards mid-on for a single that brings up the 150

39.3

Umar Gul to Chigumbura, 1 leg bye, gets the batsman's toes this time, a yorker outside legstump, hurt the batsman, who jogs through a leg bye as the ball rolls towards short fine leg

39.4

Umar Gul to Utseya, OUT, a second catch for Akmal, a short ball from Gul, Utseya goes for the pull, top-edges the high-speed delivery, and it pops up towards backward square leg, it's in the air long enough for Akmal to race across and pouch it

P Utseya c †Kamran Akmal b Umar Gul 18 (36m 32b 0x4 0x6) SR: 56.25

The players are out, it'll be Shingi Masakadza to open the bowling. He'll bring extra pace and wicket-taking ability, but questionable accuracy - his career economy rate is over 8 an over. Mohammad Hafeez on strike.

7.52pmUpdate Zimbabwe's innings is over, Pakistan's target is 162 in 38 overs, says Harsha Bhogle.

Sarmad: "@Tim, Something about Graham Onions always reminded me of a cheap fast food joint..."

Danish ends the names discussion with: "The awesomest sports name has to go to a Boston Red Sox outfielder: Coco Crisp!"

With that I'll hand over commentary to Liam Brickhill, and hop over to the over-by over chat.

7.45pm: Abhishek has plenty of time on his hands, it seems: "Speaking of Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas, has only f, q, x and z missing from his name!"

Saad Qureshi: "Greg Lamb reminds me about an Indian Curry restaurant."

Gowri: "Travis "Friend", "Guy" whittal, "Flower", "Eddo" Brandes. wow. so many!"

San takes a trip down memory lane: "Anyone recollect Brighton Watamba, Pmulelo Mbangwa? Isnt that super cool? What about GRANT FLOWER!!! wow!"

Vageesan: "What about Mluleki Luke Nkala? beat that" Who I remember only because he got Sachin Tendulkar as his first wicket.

Phil: "I agree with Bala with regards to Zimbabwe not getting the same Powerplay overs as Pakistan. The D/L method doesn't seem to account for this either - in the calculations, maybe a Powerplay over should be 'worth more' than a normal over?"

7.40pm: The covers are slowly coming off but there's still no word of when we will have a re-start.

For those of you asking about the rain-affected match between Pakistan and Zimbabwe in 2003, here's the scorecard. And for the even larger number of you asking how many catches Kamran has dropped this match - Zero. Tariq Vohra: "Are we going to give Kamran some credit? After so much ridicule he has done well in this game. Even hitting the stumps!"

7.30pm Bug: @ Tim "I always liked tatenda taibu it feels like a tongue twister which ends before it even starts."

Firoz: "@Tim: I'm more partial to the Sri Lankan names, for instance, my Fantasy team name is 'Kwik Runasingle' :)"

An old favourite when it comes to cricketing names. "You know what the coolest name in the history of names is? Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas!!" says Omair Siddiqui.

Good news the rain has stopped, and the covers are coming of. We still have a wait before play can resume.

The umpires walk down the many steps from the Pallekele dressing room to the outfield, survey the scene. The cut-off time for the match to resume is 9.22pm.

Fans in the stands aren't letting the weather get them down, they continue to dance and have a laugh in the stands.

7.00pmThe big covers come out and we could be in for a long-ish delay. We'll get you updates as soon as we have them.

Tim from Australia: "Can we take a moment to say how cool the Zimbabwe names are. Prosper Utseya, you couldn't make up a name like that. Elton Chigumbura is pretty good too. (Ray Price less good)."

Binop: "@Tim - I would say Heath Streak is the coolest then... ;-)"

Bala S is one of many sending this in: "Its really absurd to give jus 2 overs of batting power play to Zim. IF its 2 overs for Zim, it ought to be the same for Pak as well. 10+5+2...Hard to comprehend the rules."

Imran from Pakistan sends in this tongue-twister: "@ tim...the most coolest one for me is Kaushal Samaraweera Lokuarachchi :D"

Rinesh Jivanji: "@ Tim (Australia) You can't beat Zimbabwean names. As a Zimbabwean, we grew up with the likes of Lovemore, Precious, Blessing and when Kirsty Coventry won a gold medal, there were 'Goldmedal'. Dont be surprised with 'Onion', 'Nokia' and 'Millenium'!"

Nish from the US: "@ Tim: Apparently, Zimbabweans think 'Jason Krezja, Michael Beer and Tim Paine are just as cool'."

Adil: "So the target will be decided by D/L method. For those of us who are signed up for fantasy is there a chance that the players can be rated using the D/L method.. Loosing points every time there are delays or in the case of Australia - SriLanka HELP!!!!"

And for those of you who haven't signed up yet, it's still not late to enter your teams for Fantasy Cricket. There are some cool Canon cameras to be won just for the knockout stage.

Anand Batra: "If the Pakistan/Zimbabwe game gets washed out, then both India and Pakistan will be on 7 points - with 3 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie/no result each. Also, both will have a net run rate of close to +0.77.

How about that."

Covers are out, that may well be the end of the Zimbabwe innings.

Photos

Mar 14, 2011

A Pakistan fan brightens things up in the stands, Pakistan v Zimbabwe, World Cup, Pallekele, March 14, 2011

A Pakistan fan brightens things up in the stands

© Getty Images

Mar 14, 2011

Zimbabwe's players look forlorn after their fourth loss of this World Cup, Pakistan v Zimbabwe, World Cup, Pallekele, March 14, 2011

Zimbabwe's players look forlorn after their fourth loss of this World Cup

© Getty Images

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