Opener Ahmed Shehzad‘s sensational knock of 98 and skipper Mohammad Hafeez‘s half-century helped Pakistan post a mammoth total of 179 for one against Zimbabwe in the second T20 match at Harare. An unbeaten stand of 143 from just 87 deliveries paved the way for the big score.
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.
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. Skipper Mohammad Hafeez then walked out to the middle. He and Shehzad added an unbeaten stand till the end of the innings to guide the team total to
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 score a four and a six off consecutive deliveries to bring up his half-century from just 36 balls.
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.
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.
The hosts need 180 to win and level the T20 series.
Pakistan 179 for 1 in 20 overs (Ahmed Shehzad 98*, Mohammad Hafeez 54*) vs Zimbabwe