23rd match, Brisbane

Pakistan v Zimbabwe

At Brisbane, March 1, 2015 (day/night). Pakistan won by 20 runs. Toss: Pakistan.
Pakistan were glimpsing the exit door after defeats by India and West Indies. But a virtuoso all-round display from Wahab Riaz, plus a magnificent new-ball spell from Mohammad Irfan, inspired victory. Yet Zimbabwe, without a World Cup win over a Full Member nation since 1999, should have prevailed. Having limited Pakistan to 235, they were in charge at 128 for three. Then Taylor tickled Wahab down the leg side to end a stand of 54 from 49 balls with Williams, who batted with fluency until he cut to backward point as the collapse kicked in: 150 for four became 168 for eight. Chigumbura, nursing a torn quadriceps which had forced him off the field, inched Zimbabwe close, but the runs came too slowly. Pakistan's innings had depended on a stolid 121-ball 73 from Misbahul- Haq, and late impetus provided by Wahab's 46-ball unbeaten 54. Only 14 had come from the first ten overs as Misbah and Haris Sohail rebuilt from four for two in painstaking fashion, before Umar Akmal injected momentum. But a Williams-induced wobble - Shahid Afridi, on his 35th birthday, made his 30th one-day international duck, second only to Sanath Jayasuriya - left Pakistan in more strife. Chatara bowled superbly to end with three for 35, despite Wahab swinging his bat as 43 came from the last five overs. On a Gabba surface encouraging the quicks, that proved decisive. DILEEP PREMACHANDRAN
Man of the Match: Wahab Riaz.

© John Wisden & Co