Mohammad Hafeez’s 136 in 130 deliveries powered Pakistan to 299 for four in the second One-Day International (ODI) against Zimbabwe in Harare on Thursday.
Hafeez’s innings included nine boundaries and five sixes. This was his sixth ODI century which helped Pakistan set an imposing total in the must-win game. Hafeez was intent on taking the singles and played with total control, thus showing why he is a vital cog in the Pakistan batting department. In the end Shahid Afridi hit three sixes and a four and scored a 23-ball 39 to take Pakistan’s score to almost 300.
Zimbabwe elected to bowl first in Harare and the bowlers vindicated the decision by removing Ahmed Shehzad for five. The Pakistan opener spooned an easy catch to backward point, to hand over Brian Vitori his first wicket. Nasir Jamshed was trapped leg-before for a scratchy 32 as Prosper Utseya’s delivery straightened a tad beating the left-hander. Jamshed failed to play a big knock yet again.
Misbah-ul-Haq played a sedate knock and played a barrage of dot balls. When he tried to break the chain of dot balls, Misbah shuffled too far across trying to whip Vitori past mid-wicket but Sean Williams took a sharp catch. Misbah’s 23-ball three runs was nipped in the bud prematurely.
Hafeez and Umar Amin then stitched an alliance of 129 in 21 overs. That gave momentum to the Pakistan innings. Amin’s innings was cut short by a run-out. He scored 71-ball 59 that included five fours and a six.
Hafeez drove, defended and pulled with confidence. The two lofted sixes off Prosper Utseya showed his intent. On 30, Hafeez played a faulty shot which eluded the deep square-leg fielder. That was the only lapse in the innings which could prove to be series-winning.
Pakistan 299 for 4 in 50 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 136*, Umar Amin 59; Brian Vitori 2 for 68) vs Zimbabwe.