Hafeez century sees Pakistan level series

News

Triumphant in the series opener, Zimbabwe were handed a stark reality check on Thursday, when batsman Mohammad Hafeez's outstanding century afforded Pakistan a 90-run win in the second ODI at the Harare Sports Club.

Triumphant in the series opener, Zimbabwe were handed a stark reality check on Thursday, when batsman Mohammad Hafeez's outstanding century afforded Pakistan a 90-run win in the second ODI at the Harare Sports Club.

Hafeez's ton – and four key wickets from seamer Junaid Khan, left the three-match affair square at a win apiece ahead of Saturday's decider at the same venue. The hosts will know full well a decidedly stronger effort is required to ultimately outgun opposition four positions superior in the International Cricket Council rankings.

Hafeez was superb en route to 136 not out in a final total of 299 for four. His 130-delivery vigil included nine fours and a quintet of handsome sixes. Middle-order batsman Umar Amin and all-rounder Shahid Afridi, meanwhile, weighed in with 59 not out and 39 not out respectively. The latter, true to character, was remarkably cavalier throughout.

Zimbabwe's response endured a tough start, with openers Vusi Sibanda and Hamilton Masakadza dismissed inside the first eight overs. Captain Brendan Taylor's 79 kept his side in the hunt, but a general lack of support damaged aspirations.

Middle-order batsmen Malcolm Waller and Sean Williams, for their 40 and 37 respectively, should have converted into good starts into innings of substance. The remainder of the order, too, flattered to deceive.

Spinner Abdur Rehman and Junaid were soon at hand to trump the tail, leaving the home side all out for a mere 209 in 42.4 overs. Hafeez, justifiably, was named Man of the Match – and was quick to laud Afridi and Amin during the post-match conference.

Latest