Pakistan registered a clean sweep after registering a comfortable 19-run win over Zimbabwe in the second T20 International at Harare on Saturday.
Ahmed Shehzad, who nearly missed his maiden T20 century, scored his second consecutive fifty of the series as Pakistan bagged it 2-0.
Winning the toss and putting the visitors in to bat, Zimbabwe skipper Brendan Taylor did not get the start he would have expected. After defending the first five deliveries of the first over from Prosper Utseya, Shehzad launched him for a six over long on. Three overs later, a half chance went begging when Hamilton Masakadza failed to reach the ball at slips when Nasir Jamshed slashed at a wide delivery.
It was fine display of batting by the visitors as they looked in total control after that. Shehzad took Pakistan off to a steady start as he added 36 runs for the opening wicket with opener Jamshed.
In the last over of the powerplay, Elton Chigumbura took a good running catch at mid-off to get rid of Jamshed with the score at 36.
Shehzad played a crucial role in shaping the Pakistan innings and kept the tempo going through out. In the process, he brought up his half-century in the 14th over bowled by Shingi Masakadza.
Once the milestone was reached, he shifted gears further. He slammed 14 runs off Brian Vitori in the 16th over — a six and two fours hit down the ground. Meanwhile, Hafeez, who was silently keeping the scoreboard ticking, got into the act. The 18th over which fetched 15 runs saw Hafeez scored a four and a six off consecutive deliveries to bring up his half-century from just 36 balls.
In the final over by Vitori, Shehzad created history by becoming the first Pakistani batsman to hit six sixes in a single innings. He finished unbeaten on 98, the highest total by a Pakistan batsman in T20.
In company of skipper Mohammad Hafeez, he took Pakistan to 179 for no further loss of wicket in their 20 overs. Brian Vitori and Shingi Masakadza, were especially expensive giving away over 40 runs from their four overs. Amidst the aggressive strokeplay from the Pakistan duo, Zimbabwe’s Tinashe Panayangara kept it tight by giving away just 19 runs from his first three overs. His final over was a tad expensive with 12 runs coming from it.
Zimbabwe took got off to a good start in pursuit of the target. However, their run-rate didn’t rise at crucial stages. Hamilton Masakadza (41) and Vusi Sibanda (23) added 50 runs for the opening wicket in 46 balls. However, a mishit slog by Sibanda leads to his dismissal.
Spinners Zulfiqar Babar and Mohammad Hafeez were the wreckers-in-chief for Pakistan as they snarled five wickets between themselves.
Pakistan 179 for 1 in 20 overs (Ahmed Shehzad 98*, Mohammad Hafeez 54*) beat Zimbabwe 160 for 6 in 20 overs (Hamilton Masakadza 41, Elton Chigumbura 35*; Mohammad Hafeez 3 for 30) by 19 runs.