Chatara, Masakadza scythe down Shaheens as Zimbabwe Select win
Zimbabwe Select – 234 all out in 45.3 overs (Ryan Burl 69, Clive Madande 34, Wellington Masakadza 25; Aamer Jamal 4/35, Mir Hamza 3/37, Shahnawaz Dahani 2/42)
Pakistan Shaheens – 210 all out in 47 overs (Mubasir Khan 49, Haseebullah Khan 45, Kamran Ghulam 42; Tendai Chatara 5/37, Wellington Masakadza 4/32, Blessing Muzarabani 1/36)
Zimbabwe Select won by 24 runs
Tendai Chatara, with a five-wicket haul, and Wellington Masakadza, with four scalps to his name, ripped through the Pakistan Shaheens line-up to help the Zimbabwe Select team to a 24-run victory in the first one-day match at Harare Sports Club on Wednesday.
The tourists had won the toss on a warm sunny morning and put the home side in to bat.
Innocent Kaia and Tadiwanashe Marumani opened the batting to the bowling of Mir Hamza and Shahnawaz Dahani.
It took only four balls for Hamza to claim the first wicket, as Marumani was caught for one with the total four.
In the sixth over, Kaia was caught off Dahani for nine with a score of only 17 on the board.
The trouble intensified as Aamer Jamal came on to bowl as he soon bowled Craig Ervine for 10 and in his next over had Wessly Madhevere lbw for 14.
Briefly, Sean Williams looked ready to take command and carry the attack to the opposition, and in a moment of brilliance he hit three fours and a six off successive deliveries.
But he quickly fizzled out, bowled by Jamal in the next over for 20 off nine balls, leaving the Zimbabweans in serious trouble at 64 for five.
However, there followed a superb fighting partnership between Ryan Burl and Clive Madande, with Burl doing most of the scoring while the team’s wicketkeeper played an invaluable supporting role.
This gallant sixth-wicket pair put on 90 runs in 16 overs and made the Zimbabweans competitive again, before Madande was caught at the wicket off the left-arm spinner Mehran Mumtaz for 34, scored off 55 balls.
The score was then 154 for six in the 30th over.
Masakadza took over Madande’s role of steady support, while Burl continued to play well until he was caught off Hamza for 69.
He scored his runs off 68 balls, with two sixes and six fours, and the Zimbabweans were now on 193 for seven in the 37th over.
There was a useful partnership between Masakadza and Brad Evans, who added 25 in six overs, before Masakadza went for 25, soon followed by Chatara.
Evans was the last man out at 234, having scored 19 off 24 balls.
The innings was completed in the 46th over – not a particularly impressive score, but certainly higher than had looked likely when the top order failed.
Jamal was the best of the bowlers, taking four wickets for 35 – three bowled and one lbw.
When the Shaheens began their reply, their top three were quickly blown away in Chatara’s superb opening burst.
In his second over, Chatara trapped Saim Ayub lbw for eight with the score at 10.
His next over saw Imran Butt caught by Madhevere for six, and in the fourth the prolific Muhammad Hurraira was caught at the wicket by Madande for three – the tourists were now reeling at 29 for three.
Kamran Ghulam and Hussain Talat tried to repair the damage, with the latter hitting an aggressive 29 off 25 balls.
He hit Masakadza for a superb six, but the bowler cunningly tossed the next ball a little higher and Talat skyed it for Kaia to hold the catch and break the dangerous partnership.
When Masakadza also dismissed Kamran Ghulam for 42, the score was 106 for five in the 24th over and the Zimbabweans held the advantage.
Then followed a fighting partnership of 60 in 15 overs for the sixth wicket between the wicket-keeper Haseebullah Khan and Mubasir Khan.
The balance was swinging back to the tourists when Masakadza did the trick again, holding a return catch to remove Haseebullah for 45.
Mubasir stayed longer, and as long as he was at the crease the Shaheens were in with a chance.
The match was right in the balance at 206 for seven in the 46th over when Blessing Muzarabani finally took a wicket by bowling out Mubasir for 49.
All that was left now was for Chatara, returning for his final spell, to dismiss the last two batter with successive deliveries in the 47th over and complete a richly deserved five-wicket haul.
His final figures were five for 37 in nine overs, while Masakadza also did an admirable and vital job with four wickets for 32.
The Zimbabweans therefore go one up in the six-match series, which continues on Friday at Harare Sports Club.