Antigua, April 6: Pakistan carried their Sharjah Cup form into Antigua Recreation Ground where they had a five-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the first-ever triangular one-day series being played in the Caribbean (partly reported in Thursday's edition).
In fact they made a heavy weather of it, reaching the required target of 200 in 47.1 overs. Absence of an established opening pair and the inconsistency in their batting line up once again showed up as they were set about to score just about four runs an over. Nevertheless, it was a sort of victory which would hold them in good stead when they face the West Indies at St. Vincent on April 12.
Chasing the target, Pakistan had lost opener Imran Nazir who was caught by Stuart Carlisle off medium-pacer Neil Johnson in the third over. Later Younis Khan departed 41. But then Shahid Afridi and Inzamam-ul-Haq, taking the charge, batted brilliantly to add 67 runs for the third wicket and take the score to 108 in the 21st over. Afridi, uncharacteristically, showed a sound temperament as he stroked his way to an entertaining 69 off as many deliveries. In the process, he hit five fours and two towering sixes of Johnson and Mluleki Nkala.
His dismissal by Der Viljoen, the left-arm spinner who had him caught at long off, was followed up by that of Inzamam who like him also went down the wicket to hit Viljoen out of sight and then paid for it when 32. He had put on 26 runs with Yousuf Youhana who ran himself out when 21 to make Pakistan 152 for five in the 36th over.
Pakistan, in danger of capitulating, however, was well served by an unbroken stand of 48 between the captain Moin Khan and all-rounder Abdur Razzaq. The two played steadily and sensibly to secure a win which seemed to have slipping away at one stage. Earlier, Zimbabwe having won the toss, were restricted for 199 for nine
Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
Cable & Wireless One Day International Series
Antigua Recreation Ground