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August 27, 2013
Zimbabwe celebrated their 100th ODI at the Harare Sports Club with a seven-wicket victory against Pakistan, a win Brendan Taylor, the Zimbabwe captain, termed as "awesome" and said "he couldn't be happier". The success also ended Zimbabwe's 15-year wait for a win against Pakistan.
"To beat the quality team that they've got shows we're doing the right things," Taylor said. "It just shows that if our top-order batsmen come off, it lays that foundation. Our seam bowlers today were exceptional. There is room for improvement, we dropped some simple chances.
"We were badly beaten by India a couple of weeks back, so to come out with that sort of performance shows a lot of character."
Zimbabwe's bowlers kept up the pressure on the Pakistan batsmen and restricted them to 244, which was about 20 less than what Taylor had expected to chase. Taylor, however, stressed on the need for the team to remain focused as he expected Pakistan to hit back hard.
"We have put in the hard work, but this is only one match out of the three. So there is no need for complacency," he said.
Zimbabwe coach Andy Waller also praised the team and said the hard work the group has put in the last two months is starting to show results.
"It was a good win. We have put up a huge amount of work in the last two months," Waller said. "I knew it would come good, I believed in my players. I think the big turning point was the way we played the T20s. Our batters showed they could handle quality bowling. They went into the game with a lot of self-belief and that made all the difference.
"We are trying to keep wickets in hand, that's our gameplan, because we have players like Sean Williams, Elton [Chigumbura] and Malcolm Waller who can get the runs required later."
The Zimbabwe openers put up a century opening stand that set the platform for the chase. Hamilton Masakadza was the top-scorer with 85, while Sibanda also registered a half-century.
"I always knew the wicket gets better in the afternoon, so we just thought the longer we would be together, the better it would be for the team," Masakadza said. "It flattened out after the first ten overs."
Zimbabwe have a chance to complete a series win when they meet Pakistan in Harare on Thursday.
"We know how good Pakistan are and we know the quality of their players, we know they are going to come back harder on us," Waller said. "But we are not going to rest on our laurels. We need to perform better. We are not at our best yet. We got to enjoy the moment, but we have to come back harder in the next game."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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