CRICKET: Zimbabwe Edge Match That Was In Their Control
Zimbabwe made extreme and unbelievable hard work of a victory against Pakistan in the second match of the one day series at Harare Sports Club.
Zimbabwe needed a Duckworth/Lewis rule to finally win by 5 runs.
Pakistan lost the toss and put Zimbabwe in.
Hamilton Masakadza failed early on with the bat but a 91-run partnership between Chamu Chibhabha and Brian Chari created a platform for man of the match Elton Chigumbura (67) and a quick 32 from Sikandar Raza Butt to push the score to an impressive 276-6.
Zimbabwe started off with Tinashe Panyangara removing debutant Bilal Asif (0) and Azhar Asif(1) early on.
Critical in that was the in-form Mohammad Hafeez being run out brilliantly by a combination of Tino Mutombodzi and wicket keeper Richmond Mutumbami.
Pakistan were soon 86-6 and Zimbabwe looked to be odds on for a huge victory but a combination dropped catches and some loose bowling pulled the match back for Pakistan.
Captain Elton Chigumbura said:
In a game of cricket it shows you should never switch off…
We just have to work on making sure we keep putting pressure on them until the end.
Chigumbura himself was impressive with bowl and bat. He called his bowling today a blessing in disguise after an injury to Graeme Cremer which looks to keep him out of the series decider on Monday.
Shoaib Malik’s partnership with Aamer Yamin (62) did damage to Zimbabwe until Chigumbura got the latter to edge one to Mutumbami.
Soon after Wahab Riaz was out, a run-out by the skipper.
With two overs to go umpires Jeremiah Matibiri and Ruchira Palliyaguruge called the players off for light meaning Zimbabwe would win by 5 runs after a farcical 20 minute wait for light that was never going to improve.
The reason for calling the match off by the umpire was that they could not see the ball.
Malik was confident his team would win the tie as long as they batted out the full 50 overs but said the rules were the rules and he would accept them.
It is now up to the final match on Monday at the same venue to decide the series.