Misbah-ul-Haq, Ahmed Shehzad guide Pakistan to 260/6 against Zimbabwe in 3rd ODI

Misbah-ul-Haq scored 67 off 85 deliveries © AFP

Aug 31, 2013

Vital half-centuries from Misbah-ul Haq and Ahmed Shehzad helped Pakistan reach a total of 260 for six after getting off to a sluggish start.

Winning the toss and putting the visitors in to bat, the Zimbabwe bowlers kept it tight early on but had to strive hard for a wicket. Pakistan openers Nasir Jamshed and Shehzad got their eye in and brought up their 50-run stand with a six in the 12th over. Tendai Chatara, stationed at fine leg, should have held on to the ball but ended up helping it to other side of the boundary.

A couple of overs later, Chatara made up for the missed chance by getting his side the first breakthrough. He bowled a full delivery to Jamshed who was looking to play an expansive drive through extra-cover but could only edge it back to wicketkeeper Brendon Taylor.

New man Mohammad Hafeez started slowly and was forced to retire hurt after what seemed like a hamstring pull.  He made way for Misbah.

Misbah and Shehzad began the rebuilding work with the latter bringing up his half-century in the 32nd over but Pakistan’s scoring rate was going at under four. The pressure to get a move got the better of Shehzad. He went after a wide delivery and couldn’t clear Sikandar Raza who took a good running catch at long-off. At this stage, Pakistan were on 119 for two.

The wicket brought Umar Amin to the crease. Amin and Misbah kept the scoreboard ticking and shifted gears to add 51 runs in the next 48 deliveries. However, Amin’s 25-ball knock of 33 came to an end in the 41st over when he was caught and bowled by Prosper Utseya.

Shahid Afridi walked out to a situation that was tailor-made for him. But, he couldn’t survive for long and fell for a run-a-ball seven. His feet were planted to the ground when he chased after a wide delivery from Chatara and ended up edging to Taylor.

Meanwhile, Misbah was solid to hold one end up and was in need of a able ally to take Pakistan to the end of the innings with a respectable total. He found one in Sarfaraz Ahmed as the duo went after the Zimbabwean bowling towards the end. 

They added 42 from just 26 balls before Sarfaraz became Chatara’s third victim of the day, giving Taylor his third catch in the penultimate over. At this stage, Pakistan were on 243 for five, with Hafeez walking back for the final over. He started with a boundary in the first ball of the final over but Shingi Masakadza got rid of Misbah in the third delivery. Misbah hit it straight Raza at deep midwicket to end his vital knock on 67.

Pakistan finished at 260 for six in 50 overs.

Brief scores:

Pakistan 260 for 6 in 50 overs (Ahmed Shehzad 54, Misbah-ul-Haq 67; Tendai Chatara 3 for 48) vs Zimbabwe

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