Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 3rd ODI, Harare

Pakistan complete series sweep

The Report by Firdose Moonda

September 14, 2011

Comments: 77 | Text size: A | A

Pakistan 270 for 5 (Younis 81, Shafiq 51, Chigumbura 2-36) beat Zimbabwe 242 for 9 (Chibhabha 62, Sibanda 59, Cheema 4-43) by 28 runs
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Younis Khan drives during his half-century, Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 3rd ODI, Harare, September 14, 2011
Younis Khan laid the platform for Pakistan's win with a composed 81 © AFP
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  • This is Pakistan's fifth series whitewash against Zimbabwe and their 16th overall in ODIs (bi-lateral series of three or more matches). Their previous clean sweep in Zimbabwe came in 2002-03.
  • Younis Khan's 81 is his 50th fifty-plus score in ODIs. He is sixth on the list of Pakistan batsmen with the most fifty-plus scores in ODIs.
  • The 97-run stand between Asad Shafiq and Younis is the third-highest third-wicket stand for Pakistan against Zimbabwe in ODIs in Zimbabwe.
  • Aizaz Cheema's 4 for 43 is now his best bowling performance in ODIs, eclipsing his haul of 3 for 36 in the previous match. His haul of eight wickets is joint-second on the list of most wickets taken by Pakistan bowlers in a three-match away series.
  • The 110-run stand between Vusi Sibanda and Chamu Chibhabha is the second-highest opening partnership for Zimbabwe against Pakistan in ODIs.

A middle-order slump from Zimbabwe and a committed effort from Pakistan in the field saw them complete their whitewash of the hosts in the ODI series with a testing but ultimately comfortable victory in the third and final game. On a batsmen-friendly pitch, Pakistan finished with a par score that still proved too much for Zimbabwe, who gave themselves a chance to win the game with a big opening partnership, but could not finish the job.

Pakistan were aggressive at crucial times with both bat and ball and showed the value of experience against a Zimbabwe line-up that is still finding its feet at the highest level. Younis Khan's beautifully crafted 81 and Aizaz Cheema's four wickets headlined their performance but Zimbabwe can take heart from the fight they showed, minimising the damage after Pakitsan got off to a rollicking start and scoring over 240 against a top-level team.

Zimbabwe's openers, Vusi Sibanda and Chamu Chibhabha, built a solid foundation, adding 110 together. The pair began watchfully and the chase only began to gain momentum in the ninth over. Sibanda took on Sohail Tanvir, smacking him for three boundaries, an aerial shot over square leg, a glance down the leg side and a cut through point. He managed to stay away from the pull shot, which has cost him his wickets six times this summer.

Chibhabha, who had not performed in the previous two matches of the series, was more cautious and only risked hitting the big shot when he seemed certain it would reach the boundary. There was a sublime stroke through the covers off Aizaz Cheema and a straight drive unfurled down the ground.

Spin was introduced in the 11th over in the form of Mohammad Hafeez, who was economical without being threatening. His spin partner, legspinner Yasir Shah, had to wait until the 22nd over to make his debut but started encouragingly, with generous flight and a few googlies. Sibanda gifted him his maiden ODI wicket, two overs later. Just as the Zimbabwe opener had brought up his half-century and looked to accelerate, he was caught at long-on after misreading Shah.

Brendan Taylor moved up the order to No. 3 but lasted just 14 balls before being caught behind and Chibhabha succumbed soon after to a soft dismissal, gifting Younis a catch at cover. Hamilton Masakadza and Tatenda Taibu showed signs of steadying the innings, but Taibu's dismissal, caught by an athletic Younis in the deep, set in motion a mini-collapse as Zimbabwe lost four wickets for 32 runs. Masakadza fell to the slower ball from Sohail Khan, Chigubura mistimed a pull and Waller was cleaned up by a Cheema special, leaving Zimbabwe with no recognised batsmen. Cheema continued his impressive run in this series, bowling well in the dying periods of the game to end with career-best figures of 4 for 43.

Zimbabwe's spinners and Elton Chigumbura did well to keep Pakistan to 270 after it looked like a score over 300 was in sight. In the absence of senior paceman Chris Mpofu, the inexperience of Zimbabwe's seamers was exposed and Brian Vitori and Kyle Jarvis served up a range of short and wide deliveries with Vitori also occasionally straying too far down the leg side.

It took three overs for the pair to find the correct length, which was a touch short on this surface, but any small deviation was punished, as Jarvis found out when he bowled a fuller length to Imran Farhat, who pounced to smash him over point. Reward came in unexpected fashion when Vitori banged in a shorter one and got some extra bounce, which surprised Hafeez, who pulled to Waller deep midwicket.

Chigumbura and Price tied Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq down and dragged the run-rate to just over five. Chigumbura was particularly impressive, found his lengths from the start and frustrated Farhat before enticing him to drive with a fuller, slower delivery that the opener played into the hands of Chamu Chibhabha at cover.

Younis was not as easily tempted. He was happy to see off the good length ball and attack anything overpitched or tossed up, bringing up his fifty with a gorgeous inside-out shot over extra cover. Asad struggled against some tight bowling early in his innings, but Younis helped him find his rhythm and the pair began to rotate the strike well.

Zimbabwe's fielders put on a mixed display, saving some boundaries while letting others through and taking some improbable catches while dropping others. Shafiq was stumped after nifty work by Taibu who collected the ball off the rebound from his own chest to remove the bails and Shoaib Malik, who has yet to play an authoritative innings since making his comeback, was brilliantly caught by Chigumbura, low down in his follow through.

Younis looked set for a hundred but was also caught in impressive fashion when Jarvis pouched a return catch after eliciting the drive. With wickets in hand in the last 10 overs, Pakistan looked to Adnan Akmal and Misbah-ul-Haq to launch, but the pair added just 55 runs together. In the end, it proved to be more than enough.

Innings Dot balls 4s 6s PP1 PP2 PP3 Last 10 overs NB/Wides
Pakistan 153 24 2 64/1 12/1 (11-15) 36/0 (46-50) 57/1 3/6
Zimbabwe 159 18 3 43/0 23/0 (11-15) 38/3 (43-47) 59/4 0/5

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Ahsan_Shere on (September 16, 2011, 10:08 GMT)

@Syed_Yasir_Shere: You can't compare Rana to Gul because Gul is Pakistan's first choice bowler. Player has to prove his worth at domestic level only if he's not in the international team for a long time but Gul doesn't have to, because he has performed at international level. You're backing Rana because of his English Friends Life T20 & Australian Big Bash performances (youtube has given birth to hundreds of selectors :P), but definitely those performances won't be considered for national selection. If you are supporting Hafeez then he should first gain experience in T20s, BTW he is known as professor coz he makes easy things complicated & not in appreciation...see my XI for T20s in other article's comments....Abdur Razzaq.... he deserves a place in the team at anyone's cost.

Posted by Sohailh on (September 16, 2011, 9:56 GMT)

Beating Zimbabwe is no achievement...:P... AFRIDI WE MISS U.. I hate pakistani cricket without Afridi.

Posted by   on (September 16, 2011, 4:02 GMT)

@Aina Maria Waseem. Correct your figures. Afridi never dropped a catch in WC 2011. In semi-final four catches of Tendulkar were dropped by U & K Akmal, Younus and Misbah and probably on all four occasions Afridi was the unlucky bowler. Finally, Afridi was the proud lad to hold the 'white inconspicious thing in day-light' in front of wickets at seli mid-off or short cover.

Posted by Syed_Yasir_Shere on (September 16, 2011, 3:18 GMT)

@Ahsan_Shere: Junaid Khan has an average of 21 in first class cricket while Sohail Khan gifted with 24. Selectors gave them a chance but they did not impress at all. On the other hand Aizaz Cheema proved to be a good bowler. Your point is right but do you think if Gul does not perform well in the domestic season, they will not consider him in the team selection..? If they give him a chance in UAE series because of his experience then they should consider Rana as well. I am backing him in ODIs & T20Is only. He has taken 110 wickets in 74 matches. Misbah is a very good player but he is 37 already & we have to keep an eye on 2015 WC. So if they groom Hafeez as a captain for a long period, it would be so good for the team. He is a genius lad known as "Professor" among the players. Well Abdul Razzaq could be the one but he is now out of the team.

Posted by CricLuve on (September 16, 2011, 2:04 GMT)

I dont understand that why Imran Farhat and Shoab Malik are playing again. How many times they need to fail to be finally replaced?

Posted by Ahsan_Shere on (September 16, 2011, 1:47 GMT)

@Syed_Yasir_Shere: Selection always depends on domestic recent performances. In Faysal Bank One Day National Cup Division One, 2010/11 Imran Farhat played 7 List A matches scored 476 at 80 with 2 centuries & 2 fifties & he heads the list of the batsmen. Nasir also played 7 matches, scored 215 at 30 without a century & at 18th position. Umar Akmal may be a good WKB but another burden on young lad may affect his batting although team management should consider this option...More than half a dozen fast bowlers took 50 or more wickets this Quaid-e-Azam Trophy but Rana managed 34, he didn't play One Day Cup. Hafeez over Misbah....any valid points to back this statement?

Posted by Syed_Yasir_Shere on (September 15, 2011, 18:58 GMT)

Although Pakistan has wrapped up the series by 3-0 but still a lot of hard work to do. Firstly, a deserved opener maybe Nasir Jamshed i should say. Secondly, they need to groom Umar Akmal as a keeper , it would be so beneficial as we really need a stroke player at the death overs. Thirdly, selectors should consider Rana Naved as well, he deserves his place in ODIs & T20s. Finally, Misbah is no doubt a very good player but as a captain i should say M. Hafeez would probably be the best choice.

Posted by Ali-Sajid on (September 15, 2011, 15:18 GMT)

@mhk21 Thats a nice team but i would make 1 ammendment i.e. Wahab in place of Junaid and Junaid in the reserves. The batting lineup is strong going till number 9 with Younis and Misbah to build in middle overs and Afridi and Hammad for the late acceleration. Also we will have two good spinners in Ajmal and Afridi with Hafeez to back them up and good fast bowlers in Gul and Wahab with Hammad to back them up :).

Posted by   on (September 15, 2011, 15:15 GMT)

@Stark62: Yes afridi was wonderful during the world cup, but even he dropped Tendulkar's catch... I can't believe people are even blaming Misbah for bad selection. We lost Afridi because he wanted his rights as captain. I sincerely doubt Misbah has any say even in team selection.

Posted by Ali-Sajid on (September 15, 2011, 15:11 GMT)

@Mansoor Iqbal we were talking about Misbahs captaincy in ODIs NOT tests. Both are very different formats and in the semifinal if misbah had just rotated the strike more than the players at the other end WOULD NOT have been under pressure from the rising run rate. They could have rotated the strike making 4-5 runs an over with the odd boundary but no Misbah had to waste too many balls and put his teammates under pressure. What good is there in staying at the crease if you dont make any runs?

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