Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Harare September 11, 2011

Openers power Pakistan to series win


Pakistan 228 for 0 (Hafeez 139*, Farhat 75*) beat Zimbabwe 225 for 6 (Masakadza 68, Tanvir 2-33) by 10 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Pakistan strolled to victory with no trouble at all, chasing a below-par score on a batsman-friendly pitch in Harare. They won the three-match series in comprehensive style as Mohammad Hafeez scored his third ODI century and Imran Farhat came good as well, in the second match after making his comeback. The pair put on 228, Pakistan's highest opening partnership, to ensure an emphatic win.

It was a tough day for Zimbabwe's bowlers, who failed to threaten and were unable to stem the run-flow. By contrast, Pakistan's attack restricted Zimbabwe after Brendan Taylor mistakenly put his side in to bat. Taylor actually wanted to bowl, but asked to bat instead, and when he asked if he could reverse his decision, he was denied permission to do so.

With some assistance on offer for the seamers, Pakistan's left-arm pair of Sohail Tanvir and Junaid Khan gave little away. Tanvir extracted movement early on and both bowled around the off stump to deny Zimbabwe easy runs. Their opening pair, Chamu Chibhabha and Vusi Sibanda, gave in to frustration. Chibhabha was caught at mid-off while trying to go over the top and Sibanda perished, for the sixth time in 11 innings this summer, to the pull.

Junaid continued to impress as his spell went on and caused problems with the short ball. After seven overs, he injured his ankle while racing to square leg to field off his own bowling and had to go off, but returned to complete his spell.

Spin was introduced from both ends after 20 overs and Zimbabwe eased into single scoring mode, with Hamilton Masakadza and Taylor putting on the team's best performance against Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal. Zimbabwe scored 52 runs in 10 overs with the bulk of them coming in singles. Masakadza played responsibly, spotting the gaps and doing most of the calling.

Cheema returned to try and break what was becoming a sizeable partnership but he did not succeed, though he kept the runs down. Masakadza brought up his half- century with a small nudge to fine leg and Taylor reached the milestone with a quick couple in the same area. They had crafted the platform to launch from, but neither were able to.

Taylor was caught at third man after upper-cutting a short and wide delivery, and Masakadza was run out by a direct throw from Misbah-ul-Haq, after he had started the acceleration with Tatenda Taibu at the other end. With the energy Taibu brought to the crease, Masakadza was encouraged to take on the bowling and smashed the biggest shot of the match, a six that landed in the rugby field.

Taibu swept confidently and was the most at ease with the attack, but could not provide the required impetus. Tanvir bowled him and it was up to Elton Chigumbura to finish strongly but it was a tough ask. Only at the end did Chigumbura launch and Zimbabwe finished with a 14-run over.

Zimbabwe's bowlers were always going to struggle to defend 225. Chris Mpofu and Brian Vitori were able to keep Pakistan to 36 in the first ten overs. The change bowlers, however, were ineffective and expensive, and Pakistan were running away with the chase at 70 without loss after 15 overs.

Ray Price tried his best to contain, but had no support from the other end. Hafeez played aggressively, the pull shot serving him well, while Farhat accumulated. The pair had to take few risks as they were rarely put under any sort of pressure.

Hafeez's century came with a slog-sweep for six. He then tore into Vitori, smacking him for three fours in his eighth over. Hafeez, fittingly, finished the match off with a trademark pull behind square to win the series for Pakistan.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Huzaifah on September 14, 2011, 17:39 GMT

    @Vazure: It probably says in the rules of the game that once a captain has made his decision at the toss, it cannot be reversed. Personally, I feel that Taylor should have been alert enough to know what had been decided the day before the match because the team management collectively decides on what to do if the team wins the toss based on the pitch and conditions.

  • saad on September 13, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    imran nazir scored 160 against zimbabve so he is supposed to be the highest

  • Ali on September 13, 2011, 7:11 GMT

    ON http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;filter=advanced;orderby=batted_score;team=7;template=results;type=batting;view=innings it says 6 pakistanis in ODIs made more than Hafeez.But He And Yousaf remained Not Out.Saeed Anwar has made 194(but out) against India in May 1997

  • Dummy4 on September 13, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    pak rocks pak rocks

  • Murad on September 13, 2011, 6:55 GMT

    No doubt Hafeez is playing well but only for captaincy. Why Farhat and Taufeeq are back. They already got so many chances and showed they are not capable to play for Pakistan. They play only for the next match not for the country. We need Inzamam, Younis, Yousuf and Razzaq with Shoaib Akhtar back in the side. Afterall the played for pride of Pakistan.

  • Dummy4 on September 13, 2011, 1:15 GMT

    @Hassan Tanveer well said and who said pak aint have good players!!!!!!!!Hafeez is mostly doing good job!!!!!!!!

  • a on September 12, 2011, 19:24 GMT

    Just a note for hyper fans. You can't compare England with Zimbabwe. Also Imran Farhat can't even survive first 5 overs of any good bowling attack. That's why we need to give chance to our young guns. Try Rameez jr also if Shaoib Malik is not going to bowl then Asad Shafeeq is much better option in my book.

  • hasan on September 12, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    my line up for the next match shud be (giv chance to everyone) imran, ramiz,asad,misbah,malik,umar,adnan,sohail khan,tanvir,cheema,yasir

    reason for resting :hafeez and younis scored runs, ajmal and junaid shud be rested

  • Dummy4 on September 12, 2011, 17:58 GMT

    well done team Pakistan. Hafeez has really matured as a batsmen in last year, i hope they will earn to play in pressure situations as well.

  • Dummy4 on September 12, 2011, 17:24 GMT

    the most unpredictable team of the world .. u just cant expect anything from them

  • No featured comments at the moment.