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Faras Ghani in Hyderabad
January 24, 2008
Hamilton Masakadza rued the number of dropped chances, which he blamed for his side's defeat against Pakistan in the second ODI at Niaz Stadium in Hyderabad.
Zimbabwe dropped five catches in all, including two tough chances - Nasir Jamshed and Shahid Afridi benefitting twice each. Had they taken their chances and furthered Pakistan's mini stutter during the middle overs, the result just might have been different.
Each of the drops was crucial. Jamshed, dropped on 6 and 72, scored 74, his second successive half-century. Afridi scored an attacking, unbeaten 43 to take Pakistan through but he was able to do so only after being dropped on 30 and 32.
"I thought we played well to reach that total [of 238] and it could have been a good total had we taken our chances," Masakadza said. "We spilled those opportunities at crucial junctures and we might have taken it a bit closer had we held on."
Masakadza was leading the team on the field after Prosper Utseya injured his foot while batting, and had earlier top scored with an aggressive 87 after Zimbabwe opted to bat. An early start provided plenty of seam movement and Vusi Sibanda and Chamu Chibhabha both edged behind off Sohail Tanvir.
"The movement was there but it only lasted about five to six overs," Masakadza said. "After that, the pitch eased up and it was a good batting wicket."
Masakadza proved his point ably, hitting ten fours altogether and sharing a 137-run third-wicket partnership with Tatenda Taibu (81). However, a batting collapse after Zimbabwe went past the 200-mark - in which five wickets went for only nine runs - meant Zimbabwe fell at least 50 runs short of posting a competitive total.
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