Madande wages lone battle as Zimbabwe Select crumble to defeat

Pakistan Shaheens – 314-6 in 50 overs (Omair Yousuf 89*, Imran Butt 64, Haseebullah Khan 62; Brandon Mavuta 2/39, Luke Jongwe 1/51, Sikandar Raza 1/67)

Zimbabwe Select – 137 all out in 31.4 overs (Clive Madande 41*, Tadiwanashe Marumani 19, Sean Williams 15; Qasim Akram 3/9, Shahnawaz Dahani 3/29, Mehran Mumtaz 2/36)

Pakistan Shaheens won by 177 runs

Clive Madande fought almost a lone battle, scoring a gallant 41 not out, as the Zimbabwe Select team as a whole struggled with the bat against Pakistan Shaheens at Harare Sports Club on Thursday, going down by 177 runs in their fifth one-day match.

The tourists batted brilliantly to score a daunting 314 for six wickets in their innings, while the hosts could muster only 137 runs in a poor display in return.

The Zimbabweans won the toss and put the Pakistanis in to bat.

The openers, Imran Butt and Haseebullah Khan, were in a very determined mood and were soon plundering the bowling.

They quickly singled out Brad Evans, whose five opening overs went for 43 runs.

Going almost neck and neck as far as individual scores were concerned, they kept the runs coming at about a run a ball, and their opening stand of 139 gave their team the ideal foundation for a huge innings score.

The Zimbabwean breakthrough did not come until the 24th over, when Khan tried to pull a ball from Sikandar Raza that was not quite short enough, and was out lbw for 62, scored off 77 balls.

Two balls later a moment’s hesitation between the batters over a single saw Butt run out, thanks to a brilliant pick-up and throw from Richard Ngarava at backward square leg – he had made 64 off 65 balls.

The two quick wickets did not greatly handicap the tourists, though, as Omair Yousuf batted well in partnership with Rohail Nazir, before the latter was bowled by Brandon Mavuta for 16.

The key wicket, as in the previous match, was that of Yousuf, but the bowlers were unable to get it, although he lost his next three partners at regular intervals.

Six wickets were down for 250 in the 43rd over, but the Pakistanis finished the stronger, as Aamer Jamal played an excellent supporting role with some big hits of his own in 24 not out while Yousuf continued to dominate the bowling and the score topped 300.

There were not quite enough overs left for Yousuf to reach his century, and he finished on 89 not out, scored off 87 balls with a six and seven fours.

Mavuta finished as the Zimbabweans’ most successful bowler, taking two wickets for 39 runs in his eight overs, while Sean Williams, fit to play again and today’s captain, and Ngarava also bowled well against such dominating batting.

The Pakistani total of 314 for six wickets left the home side requiring the highest total of the series at more than a run a ball to win this match.

They needed a brisk start from their openers Innocent Kaia and Tadiwanashe Marumani, but they were unable to provide this, Kaia being caught for seven in the fourth over with only 12 runs on the board.

Wessly Madhevere did his best to get the score moving, hitting 15 off 16 balls before he sliced a catch to backward point at 30 for two.

Williams came in and cracked three fours, scoring 15 off seven balls, but was caught at the wicket to give Shahnawaz Dahani his second wicket at 45 for three after nine overs.

Sikandar Raza decided he would have to play himself in before attacking the bowling, but he was never able to get going.

He scored nine off 19 balls before he was bowled out by the left-arm spinner Mehran Mumtaz.

The Zimbabweans were now 68 for four wickets in the 16th over and there was no way back from here.

Four balls later Marumani was out, after labouring for 41 balls to score 19.

After this Milton Shumba made 14, and then Madande, coming in at number seven, alone shone with the bat.

The tail-enders came and went at the other end, but Madande, the only batter in the team to reach 20, played a fine aggressive innings for 41 not out.

He was left stranded as the last four batters scored only 10 runs among them, and the whole team was dismissed for a disappointing 137.

Madande scored his runs off only 46 balls and hit five fours.

Three of the last four batters fell victims to the off-spinner Qasim Akram in only 3.4 overs, while the paceman Dahani took three for 29 in six overs.

The final match of the series takes place at the same ground on Saturday.