Zimbabwe shocked Pakistan in their Group 2 encounter in Perth on Thursday, when the Men in Green lost by 1 point in a low scoring thriller. This is another disruption in a tournament full of them, with Pakistan in a real fix after losing their first 2 matches.
In the pursuit of 131, Pakistan’s old problem of over-reliance on openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan came back to bite them after both left the power play. Babar left after giving away a catch to Ryan Burl from Brad Evans’ delivery, while Rizwan played on Muzarabani’s ball on his stumps.
Shan Masood and Shadab Khan kept Pakistan’s innings steady before the latter left, trying to hit a big shot at Sikandar Raza. Haider Ali would replace him and leave the next ball.
First, Raza, who reformed his move with the help of West Indian Sunil Narine, teased Shadab Khan, who had just hit a six, to another big hit and was pocketed for the long haul. The next ball, he shoved a ball that slipped in the middle, trapping new batter Haider Ali right up front. How the batsmen – Shadab and Shan Masood – failed to cross despite the long range hollowing out would be questioned.
Masood would next leave when he was ambushed by wicketkeeper Chakabva on Raza’s delivery as Pakistan’s resistance crumbled. Raza would end his spell and scalp 3 wickets for just 25 runs.
Mohammad Nawaz almost took Pakistan over the line, but Zimbabwe would not be denied as he fell in the penultimate ball of the innings.
Previously, Mohammad Wasim recorded his best figures in the shortest format when he and Shahdab Khan helped Pakistan narrow Zimbabwe to a modest 130 to 8.
Wasim (4/4) and Shadab (3/23) split seven wickets to derail Zimbabwe innings after a fine start.
Zimbabwe started well after opting to hit with skipper Craig Ervine (19) and Wessly Madhevere (17) who added 42 runs on five overs for the opening wicket.
The partnership was broken by Rauf when Ervine was defeated by sheer speed, lobing Mohammad Wasim on a short fine leg.
Two balls later, Madhevere followed suit, LBW to Wasim when the batter got a failed review. Milton Shumba (8) didn’t help the matter on his part either and gave Shadab an uncomplicated blowback shortly after.
Sean Williams (31) and Sikandar Raza (9) shared 31 runs for the fourth wicket before Shadab struck out in the 14th over when Zimbabwe lost the plot after a good start. Another double blow in Wasim’s next over broke Zimbabwe’s spine.