Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 1st T20, Harare August 23, 2013

Shehzad, spinners sink Zimbabwe

  shares 31

Pakistan 161 for 5 ( Shehzad 70, Afridi 23*) beat Zimbabwe 136 for 5 (Taylor 32*, Afridi 3-25) by 25 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Zimbabwe had their moments where they stretched Pakistan with a confident start in their chase of 162, but tackling the spinners in the middle overs was always going to be the bigger proposition. Pakistan's spin trio - led by Shahid Afridi - put the stranglehold on the scoring with regular wickets and the hosts found the target rapidly slipping away from them. Once the required rate neared an improbable 12, the final passage of play turned tepid.

In both innings, Pakistan found the going tough in the first half of the innings but clawed back in the second. Ahmed Shehzad weathered a sluggish start with a solid half-century that set the base for Shahid Afridi to play his natural game and push Pakistan to a competitive score. The Pakistan seamers struggled to contain the openers, but following a few quiet overs of spin, the momentum shifted. Brendan Taylor was looking to play himself into some form, after a poor series against India, and he didn't have the time or an attacking partner at the other end to help his side reclaim the edge.

After being put in to bat, Pakistan lost their first three wickets inside nine overs, all off questionable shots. Tendai Chatara accounted for the first two, and his second wicket to get rid of Mohammed Hafeez was made possible thanks to a brilliant reflex catch by Taylor. That catch was a good example of Zimbabwe's fielding in the early part of Pakistan's innings, but they couldn't put enough pressure on Pakistan in the second half.

Pakistan progressed to a less-than-satisfactory 57 for 3 after ten overs, but the turning point in the innings came in the 12th over. It was Elton Chigumbura's first and he leaked 17, which included a pulled six by the debutant Sohaib Maqsood and two swept boundaries by Shehzad past short fine leg. Pakistan ensured they maintained that momentum till the end of the innings, picking 75 runs off six beginning from the 12th.

Maqsood looked promising in a stand of 55 with Shehzad, pouncing on anything short from the seamers. After pulling Chigumbura over deep square leg, he tried to clear the straight boundary the following ball but was done in by an impressive running catch by Vusi Sibanda.

Shehzad's knock was vital in giving Pakistan a base to build on, which was crucial given the under par scores from the rest of the top order. He managed only one boundary in the first ten overs and began to open up in the company of the confident Maqsood. He was caught on the edge of the long-on boundary for 70, attempting a second six. Afridi, sent in at No.6, made a cameo 23 to give the bowlers a solid score to defend.

Sibanda and Hamilton Masakadza helped Zimbabwe race to 35 off five overs - at the same stage Pakistan had already lost two wickets. Taylor said at the toss that Zimbabwe were more comfortable chasing, and the openers certainly gave the impression. Sibanda didn't look too troubled by Mohammad Irfan's pace and lift, improvising by arching his back to steer the ball wide of the fielders on the off side.

Saeed Ajmal was brought on in the sixth over as damage control. Captain Hafeez reverted to his seamers and Anwar Ali struck in the first over of his second spell when he trapped Hamilton Masakadza lbw attempting to pull a ball that wasn't short enough. A set Sibanda lost his leg stump to Afridi, staying back to a flat, quicker delivery. Sean Williams was trapped lbw on the sweep, but didn't appear satisfied with the decision.

What Taylor needed was a form partner and the team management probably erred by not promoting Elton Chigumbura. Chigumbura performed better than some of the specialists in the one-dayers against India and when he walked in today Zimbabwe needed in excess of 17 an over. Timycen Maruma, who came in ahead of him, faced 13 balls for ten runs, at a time when Zimbabwe were desperate for a massive surge. The spinners held sway and the margin of victory was a comfortable 25 runs.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 24, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    happy to see Pakistan win.Looking forward to good performance from Nasir Jamshed

  • POSTED BY on | August 24, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    good performance from afridi and ahmed. afridi is contributing more regularly now. which is good sign. Maqsood looked good. should be included in ODis.

    Time is running out for hafeez. he needs to perform and better to play down the order. some how if they can get in haris sohail then that would be better.

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | August 24, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    You've got to hand it to the Zimbabwe cricket development. Despite political turmoil and a small population they've managed to produce a number of international class players in the last few years. Their problem of course is that almost all of them are playing county cricket not international cricket. Their team is a farce right now through little fault of their own. Yes they are broke so can't give players the incomes to match county contracts, but they can't make more money without their star players playing. Need to allow Kolpak players to play internationals or we risk losing a test nation. Saving Zimbabwe cricket needs to be a priority of the ICC.

  • POSTED BY RanaWaqa121 on | August 24, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    zulfiqar baber and Harris sohail must in for saeed ajmal and nasir jamshed. just two changes pak need for their new look team

  • POSTED BY Julian_Vella on | August 24, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    @ ZCFOUTCAST

    the only conspiracy is the fact Maruma is in the team in front of Raza a T20 specialist and batting above Chigs and Waller in a T20 the guy can barely hold a bat let alone score at the required run rate in a T20

  • POSTED BY on | August 24, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    Nasir jamshed destroy their talent why he scared..its strike rate is awsome then why he block the balls,, someone tell him..please david watmore polish this talent more and more,,

  • POSTED BY Cricket_Man on | August 24, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    I am Pakistani but would love to see Zimbabwe win at least 1 match out of the 7 to be played. They have been through tough times like Pakistan and deserve a win to bring a smile on the faces of their fans and for the motivation of their players. On the contrary, Sohaib Maqsood indeed looked confident and on the short pitched deliveries he picked the length really early (like Inzi) to hit them for sixes. His style and batting stance looks a bit like Inzi's and a bit like Pietersen's. I would like to see Ajmal being rested for the entire tour and Zulfiqar Babar being given the hold of spinning department.

  • POSTED BY ICCexpert.... on | August 24, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    Sohaib Maqsood is the new Sehwag and Inzi.....he should be in the one dayers, but Misbah doesnt want youngsters in the side.

  • POSTED BY Badiuzzaman on | August 24, 2013, 3:44 GMT

    Afridi should be maid captain and he should have given a higher rank in batting order. Although I'm happy the Pak win, but its not enough impressive.

  • POSTED BY MichealT on | August 24, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    I think Pakistan has too much quality against Zimbabwae and if they loose it is just because of a light competition. Pakistan performs good against quality teams and their performance go bad against lighter opposition. But still Hafiz has to prove his batting place in the team. He is fast becoming an unreliable batsman and he probably could not find a place in any top six sides. Nasir has got batting talent but his weaknesses are too many and he is proving to be a very slow learner.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 24, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    happy to see Pakistan win.Looking forward to good performance from Nasir Jamshed

  • POSTED BY on | August 24, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    good performance from afridi and ahmed. afridi is contributing more regularly now. which is good sign. Maqsood looked good. should be included in ODis.

    Time is running out for hafeez. he needs to perform and better to play down the order. some how if they can get in haris sohail then that would be better.

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | August 24, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    You've got to hand it to the Zimbabwe cricket development. Despite political turmoil and a small population they've managed to produce a number of international class players in the last few years. Their problem of course is that almost all of them are playing county cricket not international cricket. Their team is a farce right now through little fault of their own. Yes they are broke so can't give players the incomes to match county contracts, but they can't make more money without their star players playing. Need to allow Kolpak players to play internationals or we risk losing a test nation. Saving Zimbabwe cricket needs to be a priority of the ICC.

  • POSTED BY RanaWaqa121 on | August 24, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    zulfiqar baber and Harris sohail must in for saeed ajmal and nasir jamshed. just two changes pak need for their new look team

  • POSTED BY Julian_Vella on | August 24, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    @ ZCFOUTCAST

    the only conspiracy is the fact Maruma is in the team in front of Raza a T20 specialist and batting above Chigs and Waller in a T20 the guy can barely hold a bat let alone score at the required run rate in a T20

  • POSTED BY on | August 24, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    Nasir jamshed destroy their talent why he scared..its strike rate is awsome then why he block the balls,, someone tell him..please david watmore polish this talent more and more,,

  • POSTED BY Cricket_Man on | August 24, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    I am Pakistani but would love to see Zimbabwe win at least 1 match out of the 7 to be played. They have been through tough times like Pakistan and deserve a win to bring a smile on the faces of their fans and for the motivation of their players. On the contrary, Sohaib Maqsood indeed looked confident and on the short pitched deliveries he picked the length really early (like Inzi) to hit them for sixes. His style and batting stance looks a bit like Inzi's and a bit like Pietersen's. I would like to see Ajmal being rested for the entire tour and Zulfiqar Babar being given the hold of spinning department.

  • POSTED BY ICCexpert.... on | August 24, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    Sohaib Maqsood is the new Sehwag and Inzi.....he should be in the one dayers, but Misbah doesnt want youngsters in the side.

  • POSTED BY Badiuzzaman on | August 24, 2013, 3:44 GMT

    Afridi should be maid captain and he should have given a higher rank in batting order. Although I'm happy the Pak win, but its not enough impressive.

  • POSTED BY MichealT on | August 24, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    I think Pakistan has too much quality against Zimbabwae and if they loose it is just because of a light competition. Pakistan performs good against quality teams and their performance go bad against lighter opposition. But still Hafiz has to prove his batting place in the team. He is fast becoming an unreliable batsman and he probably could not find a place in any top six sides. Nasir has got batting talent but his weaknesses are too many and he is proving to be a very slow learner.

  • POSTED BY Sharath274 on | August 24, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    Zim has always been doing the mistake of batting Chigumbura too far down.. he is a clean striker of the ball and has proved it several times.. saw his batting in few of the BPL matches last year.. he was too good.. cant make him play only the last 2 or 3 overs... esp when u r chasing a target of more than 8 RPO... hope they get it right soon...

  • POSTED BY on | August 24, 2013, 1:26 GMT

    few positive 1)shoib makssod look excellent and mature at the creaze.looks a bright future so be needed to invest in him and also keep him fir odies.2)Anwar ali started well some runs and 1 wicket he needs to learn from his experince at intrrnational level needs to bring the ball back in to the bastman mire consistantly.3)Ahmed shazad and Lala perfirmed well. some negative 1)Haffez nit able to play even against zimbave if not kicked out should be demoted in the battibg order to no 6. 2)Sarfaraz war not imprassive behind stums.3) zulfikar babar should not be rest as he needs to be ib the playing 11.aftrr all a good win for pak.

  • POSTED BY thejusjosephjose on | August 24, 2013, 1:14 GMT

    A match for Zimbabwe when they are the eye of the storm.I have been watching all the matches of Zimbabwe from 2010. For me the team has improved over these years.But the lack of results frustrates everyone.It seems that all have got a collective amnesia. There is no point in winning odd matches, its consistency that matters.Today the team have a more or less settled batting order.Bowling attack is yet to get the balance.Need to groom a spinner too.Outlook of the team is positive. There are moments of success for Zimbabwe in the field.Earlier Zimbabwe used to play with low morale.Its is tough for anybody to lose.But its cricket not magic. When you try to push the team's quality to a better level it needs some patience sense from the authorities. Give the respect which the players are due.They are professionals.Keep away loose talk about the team. Give the game and its ambassadors its due above money,color and politics. Given this Zimbabwe can pull away upsets in the days to come.

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2013, 23:49 GMT

    Pakistan were to hiding to nothing win by a very big margin and the critics would say its only Zimbabwe. Good to see Pakistan given new players like Sohaib Masqood and Anwar Ali a chance. Expect Irfan and Ajmal to be rested for tomorrow's game with Junaid and Babar coming in.

  • POSTED BY Anti_ZCFOutkast on | August 23, 2013, 20:55 GMT

    Zimbabwe could have won had it not been for Vusi crucifying us at the top of the order with his slow scoring. Lord knows why Maruma is in the side given that he can't bat or bowl and gave away any hope of us winning with his painful batting effort, never has a Zimbabwean wicket been cheered so loudly at Harare Sports Club. Waller should have been sent in ahead of him, we saw what he could do when he effortlessly started hitting boundaries.

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2013, 19:41 GMT

    Good Fighting spirit shown by Zim

  • POSTED BY t20cric on | August 23, 2013, 19:36 GMT

    Its good to see the Pak win but the margin of victory was only half of what i thought if Pakistan won by 50 runs then it would've been better. Sohaib had a great debut cuz he faced the same number of balls as Afridi but scored more and hit one more 6 than Afridi. I think its a bad idea to drop Zulfiqar after his excellent debut. Junaid should come in for Irfan and Zulfiqar should come in for Ajmal. Congrats to Zimbabwe for putting up a good fight but they dont know how to continue from good starts. They started well in bowling and batting but gave the game away in the second half of both innings if Pakistan had got early wickets like Zim did then this would have been a bigger win for Pak.

    BTW whats the difference between player of the match and man of the match?

  • POSTED BY DataQue on | August 23, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    Three things that need to happen: First: Replace Nasir with new a player; Nasir is pathetic! Second: Demote Hafeez from captaincy & sideline him for few matches; he is no Good!!! Third & most important: Promote Afridi as a CAPTAIN; he deserves it all the way!!!

  • POSTED BY TexanBlue on | August 23, 2013, 18:22 GMT

    Not a convincing win for Pak; the victory margin should have been bigger. Save Nasir for flat tracks of the sub-continent. Hafeez should open in game 2 and play his natural attacking game. He must lead from the front and help Pak post a score close to 200. Bring in Harris to bat at 3 and also play Zulfiqar in place of Ajmal who doesn't need to play in all 3 formats and in every game; rest him and use him sparingly in the shorter format so he can be fresh for the tests and not get exposed too early to the Zim batsmen. It's silly to omit Zulfiqar after his Man of the Series performance in the West Indies. Well done to the Zims for their brave show in game 1. They may not win but showing the fight keeps the spark in the game.

  • POSTED BY ahmad_khalid123 on | August 23, 2013, 17:27 GMT

    Not really good performance by Pakistan players. Shahzad was brilliant with the bad.It was a beautiful and bright start from Zimbabwe but some quick wickets turn the match. Zim will be good for the next match even there is chance of winning.

  • POSTED BY grahaam on | August 23, 2013, 16:22 GMT

    Weak performance by Zimbabwe , against newly arrived visitiors, no attempt to really have a go at the total , and a nervous decision to bowl first...always on the back foot from that . The margin of defeat will now increase. Utseya as always was good, Taylor was good but the openers play like newcomers , not once did they show their experience while the Pakistan attack took time to find their lines...Larger margin of defeat looms.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 23, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    Pakistan were always going to win this match. The reason why is because zimbabwe dont have the ability to get going after a good start. after good 10 overs of bowling, they slopped the last 10 by giving over 100 runs. Zimbabwe has managed to get good starts a lot of times but they dont have the ability to build on their good progress. Sheazad deserves the man of the match award because he played a very vital innings at the time where pakistan was drowning in water once again from their top order.

  • POSTED BY phaktaa_tikit on | August 23, 2013, 15:31 GMT

    Very disgusting to note that contributions of bowlers is never recognised in cricket.. How was Shehzad chosen ahead of Afridi for Man of the Match? In a T20 game a wicket is nearly equivalent to scorng 30 runs but the bowlers never get the recoginition. With 3 top order wickets at a run rate well below asking rate & a quick fire 23, afridi should have got the award. As always, sad to see a bowler being ignored.

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    Man that surprised me, frankly the match was not as I expected it to be. Pakistan should have had a walk in the park, but instead Zimbabwe troubled Pakistan all the way long

  • POSTED BY ZCFOutkast on | August 23, 2013, 14:59 GMT

    Well done to our boys. Was never going to be easy against this Pakistan bowling outfit. Ajmal, Afridi, Hafeez, Tanvir&Irfan are enough to destroy any top 8 batting side. West Indies with Gayle, Samuels&Pollard in their ranks failed to match what Zim achieved to day.

    As usual top class T20 bowling from Utseya, and effective contributions from Chatara, Vitori&Shingi. Nice to see Taylor back in form, but methinks him&Vusi were playing for some due T20 runs today - Cook style aggression!

    Why is Williams bowling ahead of Maruma? This would be shocking to any cricket fan. Arguably our best attacking spinner in Zimbabwe, and yet Williams gets the nod! A conspiracy from Taylor perhaps - hide his bowling prowess so he can be dropped on his batting even though he's hardly had a decent run!

    Unsurprisingly, zero out of ten marks for Andy Waller again. Had he set the batting order right, We might have gotten closer to Pakistan's total. The win wasn't beyond our reach. All the best tomorrow boys!

  • POSTED BY am5786 on | August 23, 2013, 14:56 GMT

    Junaid, Haris and Zulfiqar should come to team in place of Irfan, Umar and Saeed.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | August 23, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    Nice to see Irfan playing in a crucial T20 match against the mighty Zimbabwe! Excellent justification for him to be rested in the test matches...the future is indeed bright!!

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    Pathetic batting by Jamshed and Hafeez. Jamshed's fitness and fielding is terrible. Bowling looks out of touch. Zim has a great opportunity to beat Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | August 23, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    Pakistan best of luck..

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 23, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    best of lk team pakiatan

  • POSTED BY ODI_BestFormOfCricket on | August 23, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    many ex.cricketters and commentators are discussing the way to reduce the influence of t20, but look at the encouraging crowd today (bw zim vs pak). T20 will flourish regardless of who says what.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY ODI_BestFormOfCricket on | August 23, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    many ex.cricketters and commentators are discussing the way to reduce the influence of t20, but look at the encouraging crowd today (bw zim vs pak). T20 will flourish regardless of who says what.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 23, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    best of lk team pakiatan

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | August 23, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    Pakistan best of luck..

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    Pathetic batting by Jamshed and Hafeez. Jamshed's fitness and fielding is terrible. Bowling looks out of touch. Zim has a great opportunity to beat Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | August 23, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    Nice to see Irfan playing in a crucial T20 match against the mighty Zimbabwe! Excellent justification for him to be rested in the test matches...the future is indeed bright!!

  • POSTED BY am5786 on | August 23, 2013, 14:56 GMT

    Junaid, Haris and Zulfiqar should come to team in place of Irfan, Umar and Saeed.

  • POSTED BY ZCFOutkast on | August 23, 2013, 14:59 GMT

    Well done to our boys. Was never going to be easy against this Pakistan bowling outfit. Ajmal, Afridi, Hafeez, Tanvir&Irfan are enough to destroy any top 8 batting side. West Indies with Gayle, Samuels&Pollard in their ranks failed to match what Zim achieved to day.

    As usual top class T20 bowling from Utseya, and effective contributions from Chatara, Vitori&Shingi. Nice to see Taylor back in form, but methinks him&Vusi were playing for some due T20 runs today - Cook style aggression!

    Why is Williams bowling ahead of Maruma? This would be shocking to any cricket fan. Arguably our best attacking spinner in Zimbabwe, and yet Williams gets the nod! A conspiracy from Taylor perhaps - hide his bowling prowess so he can be dropped on his batting even though he's hardly had a decent run!

    Unsurprisingly, zero out of ten marks for Andy Waller again. Had he set the batting order right, We might have gotten closer to Pakistan's total. The win wasn't beyond our reach. All the best tomorrow boys!

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    Man that surprised me, frankly the match was not as I expected it to be. Pakistan should have had a walk in the park, but instead Zimbabwe troubled Pakistan all the way long

  • POSTED BY phaktaa_tikit on | August 23, 2013, 15:31 GMT

    Very disgusting to note that contributions of bowlers is never recognised in cricket.. How was Shehzad chosen ahead of Afridi for Man of the Match? In a T20 game a wicket is nearly equivalent to scorng 30 runs but the bowlers never get the recoginition. With 3 top order wickets at a run rate well below asking rate & a quick fire 23, afridi should have got the award. As always, sad to see a bowler being ignored.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 23, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    Pakistan were always going to win this match. The reason why is because zimbabwe dont have the ability to get going after a good start. after good 10 overs of bowling, they slopped the last 10 by giving over 100 runs. Zimbabwe has managed to get good starts a lot of times but they dont have the ability to build on their good progress. Sheazad deserves the man of the match award because he played a very vital innings at the time where pakistan was drowning in water once again from their top order.