Pakistan push Zimbabwe out the door

Adjust Comment Print

Mire struck 94, the highest score by a Zimbabwean in a Twenty20 global, but Zimbabwe´s 162 for 4 was not enough to overcome the world´s top ranked T20I side.

The left-hand batsman said that coming to Zimbabwe has made a lot of difference for the team in terms of environment and they have come here with a lot of confidence.

Mixing aggression with an ability to manoeuvre the ball around the field, he cracked four fours and a six. If Talat is dropped, 22-year-old Sahibzada Farhan could be in line to make a Pakistan debut though Sarfraz has the option of turning to the more experienced Haris Sohail. The tactic spoke volumes about his development as a limited overs batsman.

The quick dismissal of captain Sarfraz Ahmed, edging a Tye legcutter into the hands of wicketkeeper Alex Carey, put a further dent in Pakistan's batting, but the experienced Shoaib Malik ensured that the runs kept flowing. I realised that I could play proper cricket shots and be successful (in T20), and that's what I've been doing recently,"Zaman explained".

Executing his attacking strokes perfectly, he found the gaps and the boundaries whenever they were needed.

In response, Zimbabwe openers Solomon Mire and Chamu Chibhabha made 28 and 18 runs respectively with Peter Moor adding 19 runs at number five. But for all the brilliance of Mire, there remained a sense Zimbabwe hadn't quite managed to free themselves of the shackles enough to be able to set a target that would seriously worry Pakistan.

Sent in to best first, Zimbabwe were off to a decent start.

Mire dominated the strike, launching Shadab Khan over long-on for six and clearing the ropes over midwicket in the same over, then giving Mohammad Nawaz the treatment to reach his half-century. After he fell, Asif Ali struck three fours and two sixes in an unbeaten 37 to keep the pressure on Australia right to the end of the innings. Short was good too, but we bowled well in the middle overs. When the teams walked off at half-time, the satisfaction Zimbabwe felt was arguably more for an improved performance than a belief they could keep Pakistan from winning the game.