Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 1st Twenty20, Harare September 16, 2011

All-round Hafeez sets up big win


Pakistan 198 for 4 (Hafeez 71, Shafiq 38) beat Zimbabwe 113 (Coventry 30, Hafeez 4-10) by 85 runs
Live Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Pakistan continued their winning streak in Zimbabwe with a crushing victory in the first Twenty20 international. Their batsmen treated the opposition attack with utter disdain and smashed Zimbabwe for the highest total they have ever conceded in a Twenty20. Pakistan bowled with precision, fielded with energy and commitment, and skittled Zimbabwe out in the 16th over to register a comprehensive win. Mohammad Hafeez stole the headlines in both departments, scoring 71 with the bat and taking four wickets.

By contrast, Zimbabwe slumped into a greater state of haplessness, first with their lacklustre display with the ball and then with an uninspiring chase. Their three frontline bowlers were wayward and unconvincing, and their fielding sub-standard which left them with too much to do with the bat.

Pakistan's smash-and-grab innings started when Asad Shafiq tore into Zimbabwe's senior fast bowler Chris Mpofu, who made every mistake in the book, mostly by bowling too short. Shafiq scored four boundaries off his second over and brought up the first six of the innings, with a pull off Elton Chigumbura. Hafeez was happy to take a back seat in the early stages of the innings but took over when Shafiq was run out by a sharp piece of groundwork from Charles Coventry at short fine leg.

Hafeez took a special liking to Hamilton Masakadza's medium pacers, and showed off the lap sweep in extravagant style, getting to his half-century in 34 balls. Zimbabwe could have prevented him from reaching the landmark when Hafeez pulled to deep midwicket on 45, but Mpofu parried the ball over the boundary for six instead of catching it.

Zimbabwe's fielding was not up to standard again and they let go of too many chances. Jarvis mistimed a catch off Rameez Raja at mid-on and Vusi Sibanda did the same thing in the next over, giving Hafeez another lifeline. Coventry was the only one with a solid pair of hands and he held on to a cross-batted shot from Hafeez that just did not have enough on it to go all the way.

Rameez Raja did not live up to the hype. His 23 runs came mostly in singles and he struggled to time his shots. He was out lbw to Ray Price in the 17th over, allowing Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik the opportunity to finish strongly.

Both were dropped, Umar by Tatenda Taibu behind the stumps and Malik by Mpofu in his followthrough. Mpofu's day only got worse when Umar slapped him for 15 runs in his penultimate over. Malik made little impact but Sohail Tanvir was destructive at the end. He was almost caught in the deep, but Sibanda had to abandon the catch when he was pushed over the boundary by his momentum. The mistake cost Zimbabwe 18 runs in the last over.

With a massive task looming over them, Zimbabwe were overwhelmed but showed signs of greater intent than they have done previously in the series. Vusi Sibanda started with a stunning drive but his second aggressive stroke, off a length ball, saw him caught magnificently by Misbah-ul-Haq at mid-on. Misbah ran backwards and took the catch over his shoulder, with both hands. Sohail Khan could not take the credit for that wicket but he deserved the next one, which came two balls later when newcomer Cephas Zhuwao hung his bat out and got an edge through to Umar.

Brendan Taylor, Chamu Chibhabha and Hamilton Masakadza tried to build momentum but Taylor and Masakadza fell trying to play big shots and Chibhabha became the second of Hafeez's victims when he was trapped lbw. Charles Coventry was the only Zimbabwe batsmen who was able to get more than a start. He thumped four fours and a six before top-edging off Saeed Ajmal.

Hafeez, fittingly, finished things off when he bowled Price with a flat, straight delivery, extending Price's poor day. Price had sent down six wides while bowling and strayed too far down the leg side. Hafeez, however, was bang on target and finished with his best figures in T20s to continue his golden run in Zimbabwe.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ums on September 17, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    Hafeez is a blessing these days. If Pakistan manages couple of solid batsman in test and ODI with consistency, then will be a force to reckon with. @Tell the truth, what we can say about your comments...

  • Ghufran on September 17, 2011, 14:52 GMT

    Tellthetruth: Its so sad to see India get exposed soon after the World cup they bought from the World. A team which cannot defend 300, how can they be World Champs. It shows on all Indian players, the shame of winning the WC that way. Good to see India back on track of 80s and 70s, when one win in one year meant a lot to the nation. Dhony is bringing that back to India. Hope India gets better to show some fight and don't let Pak walk all over them in coming series. In my opinion, No1 spot should be fixed for pak. Rest of the teams should fight for 2nd onwards.

  • Jawwad on September 17, 2011, 14:04 GMT

    In the midst of all this, let's not forget to say Thank you Waqar. Great job. We will miss you dearly.

  • Rauf on September 17, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    @TellTheTruth. Looks like you are really hurting for some reason to take this cheap swipe at Pakistan and it's cricket team. Could it be the recently concluded winless England tour? India did discover one thing on this tour... Praveen Kumar is a much better test batsman than Tendulkar. Atleast there is some hope.

  • Ahmed on September 17, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    Why dont Indians worry about their team instead of telling Pakistan fans not to be euphoric? In England, India were thrashed, smashed, mauled, humiliated... whatever you call it. Even Zimbabwe or Bangladesh would have probably managed better.

  • Dummy4 on September 17, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    @AndyZaltzmannsHair: I always love your comments dude...they are really awesome.. Infact I search your name in almost every cricinfo article...keep it up buddy...!! :) ;)

  • m on September 17, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    Tellthetruth ... you can not have this name if you are indian ....you are back stabber and traitor .. proven by recent and old history ........this win is very sweet .....better then the MAN MIANDAD hitting SIX in shraja ...cuz England deny a taste of victory to YOU YOU ....your comments show as indian life is sad .

  • Dummy4 on September 17, 2011, 10:13 GMT

    Tellthetruth: That is something only time will tell. In the meantime its best if you refrain from slighting my country and its politics on a cricketing forum! Not to mention insulting Zimbabwe's team

  • Syed on September 17, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    CONGRATULATIONS PAKISTAN.............. waiting anxiously for return of amir.. :)

  • atlas on September 17, 2011, 7:11 GMT

    what a team this is.pakistan rock evry where they play.hafeez and asad oooh i saw the new opening in t20.good asad is a good player he can do this for long time.keep goning pakistan we r with u.

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