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Pakistan complete whitewash with ten-wicket win at Bulawayo

Pakistan raced to an easy ten-wicket victory over Zimbabwe at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo soon after lunch on the fourth day of the match. Left 57 to win, they took only 8.3 overs to get there without losing a wicket.

Zimbabwe got off to the worst possible start to the fourth day, losing Andy Flower to the fourth ball of the morning without addition to their overnight score of 171 for five. A ball from Waqar Younis jagged back viciously from the pitch to trap him plumb lbw inside the crease. Flower was out for 13 to complete what for him was a disappointing series, with only one fifty to his credit. All hopes of setting Pakistan any sort of belated challenge or achieving a draw, with no rain at all likely, were crushed.

Andy Blignaut began confidently, but had an escape when on 7 as slip Inzamam was slow to react to an edge that flew to his left. He continued to live dangerously, but the impression was that his approach was more `let's have a bash' rather than `let's make a fight of it'. Waqar tried to trap him with a few bouncers, and Blignaut pulled him for two fine sixes, and was then dropped near the boundary attempting a third. Waqar may still bowl with tremendous skill, but his once feared pace has gone, especially on this slow pitch.

Tatenda Taibu did his part well, and the fifty partnership came up off only 59 balls - of which Blignaut scored 37. Shortly afterwards Zimbabwe saved the innings defeat and went into credit with four wickets remaining. Blignaut immediately threw his wicket away, leaping extravagantly down the pitch, head in the air, to Saqlain and was easily stumped. His 41 came off 32 balls and included two sixes and four fours.

Mluleki Nkala continued the fight with Taibu, but was surprised to be given out by umpire Venkat, caught at the wicket for 14, trying to hit Saqlain out of the ground, possibly the first really dubious dismissal of the match. Raymond Price, usually dour in Tests, experimented with the long handle and reached double figures for the first time in Tests before being bowled for 12 by a superb leg-cutter from Mohammad Sami.

Henry Olonga held out with Taibu until lunch, after which Pakistan took the second new ball. The last pair did not survive long, as Taibu chipped an easy catch to mid-on for 57, leaving Olonga unbeaten with 3 and Pakistan with 57 to win.

A wide and two fours by Taufeeq Umar off the first over, bowled by Olonga, suggested a canter. Price opened from the other end and was hit for four and six by Saleem Elahi, following which Olonga dropped a return catch from Taufeeq. The batsmen dealt mainly in boundaries; the batsmen did not need to run until they scored the 39th run of the innings.

When Saleem turned Olonga to leg for the winning run, he had 30 (four fours, two sixes) and Taufeeq 21 (five fours). Pakistan thus deservedly completed a two-nil victory in the series.