Pakistanis edge Zimbabwe Select as bad light ruins thriller
Zimbabwe Select – 278 all out in 50 overs (Sean Williams 78, Wessly Madhevere 41, Tadiwanashe Marumani 29; Shahnawaz Dahani 4/43, Aamer Jamal 3/60, Kamran Ghulam 1/25)
Pakistan Shaheens – 263-8 in 46.5 overs (Qasim Akram 57*, Haseebullah Khan 49, Mubasir Khan 30; Tendai Chatara 4/53, Wellington Masakadza 2/44, Victor Nyauchi 1/52)
Pakistan Shaheens won by five runs (Duckworth-Lewis method)
A fine 78 by Sean Williams and four wickets by Tendai Chatara were not enough to bring the Zimbabwe Select team victory in the third one-day match against Pakistan Shaheens at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.
There should have been a thrilling finish to this game, but it was ruined for the spectators when the players had to be taken off the field for bad light with 3.1 overs still to go, and the Duckworth-Lewis calculations awarded the match to the tourists by five runs.
Despite their bad experiences in the first two matches of this series, Pakistan Shaheens again decided to field on winning the toss for the third time.
The Zimbabweans lost their first wicket to the seventh ball of the match, as Joylord Gumbie, coming into the team as they rotated their squad, was out lbw to Shahnawaz Dahani for one.
There followed two good partnerships of more than 50 runs each, as Tadiwanashe Marumani added 56 for the second wicket with Wessly Madhevere before being out for 29.
Madhevere continued to make 41 in a stand with Craig Ervine that put on 53 and took the score to 110 for three after 25 overs.
At the start of the next over, however, Ervine was out for 25, and with Ryan Burl making only nine, the Zimbabweans were at a crossroads in their innings with a score of 137 for five in the 29th over.
Fortunately, they took the correct path after that as Williams, again batting with great aggression, was joined by Clive Madande and they added 65 in less than 10 overs.
Madande went for a valuable 22 off 27 balls, while Williams went on to reach 78 off only 59 balls before being bowled by Dahani in the 44th over.
Wellington Masakadza was then his partner, who went on to make 18, while the next man in was Faraz Akram, another beneficiary of squad rotation, who batted very well at the death to score 19 not out off 17 balls.
The innings closed for 278 all out with the last possible delivery, as Tanaka Chivanga was caught in the deep off Aamer Jamal.
Dahani was the best of the Pakistani bowlers with four wickets for 42, while Jamal again took wickets at a price, with three for 60 in his 10 overs.
The tourists kept faith in their left-handed opening batter Saim Ayub despite two failures, and this time he showed more of his true form, making 47 in fine style with Muhammad Hurraira for the first wicket before he skyed an attempted hook and was caught and bowled by Tendai Chatara for 28.
Four balls and no runs later, Chatara took another catch, this one at backward square leg as Hurraira (19) flicked the ball straight to him off Victor Nyauchi’s bowling.
Then followed a good partnership for the third wicket between Haseebullah Khan and Omair Yousuf, who put on 60 together, scoring 49 and 29 respectively, before Masakadza dismissed them both with catches to the wicket-keeper Madande.
Then Chatara chipped in with two more wickets, and at 164 for six wickets in the 32nd over the Pakistanis appeared to be almost down and out.
However, Qasim Akram, batting at number eight, then played a superb attacking innings that changed the whole situation.
Mubasir Khan played a fine innings as his partner to score 30 off 32 balls, and the pair added 67 runs in just over eight overs, before Khan went at 236 for seven.
Jamal did not last long, and Qasim had only two tail-enders to keep him company as, in theory, they needed another 33 runs in the last seven overs.
Qasim reached his fifty and was still there, with Mohammad Ali as his partner, when the umpires decided that the light was too bad for play to continue and called for Duckworth-Lewis.
At the point of abandonment the tourists needed another 16 runs in just 3.1 overs with only two wickets left, but Duckworth-Lewis decided in favour of them.
Qasim finished with a brilliant 57 not out off 40 balls, with a six and seven fours.