Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez made an unbeaten 139 and Imran Farhat hit 75 not out as the two managed a record-breaking opening partnership of 228 to secure a 10-wicket win against Zimbabwe in the second One-Day International (ODI) in Harare.
The win helped Pakistan secure the three-match series after the tourists also managed a five-run victory in Bulawayo.
However, this match was in stark contrast to the previous one where Pakistan were made to fight hard. After restricting Zimbabwe to 225 for six, Pakistan openers made hay of the total, beating the previous mark set by former captains Saeed Anwar and Ramiz Raja of 204 against Sri Lanka.
Hafeez, who recorded his third ODI century and was later named man of the match for the second time on this tour, scored his runs off 147 balls while Farhat’s 75 required 106 deliveries.
Winning the toss, Brendan Taylor’s team got off to a very slow start as Junaid Khan and Sohail Tanvir bowled three maidens in the first seven overs.
Vusi Sibanda scored one run off 20 balls before getting out for 14 while Zimbabwe only managed 22 runs in the first 10 overs. Masakadza, who got off to a slow start himself, ended with 68 but from 118 balls. Taylor continued his good form and made 50, his 23rd half century, while Taibu hit a bright 26. Elton Chigumbura and Prosper Utseya took 13 off TanvIr’s last over, but it always looked too little, too late.
Misbah pleased with performance
Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq was pleased with the one-sided win. “This is the way we want to play,” said Misbah. “It was a wonderful performance by the team and Hafeez is turning out to be a match-winner for us.
“Now we just want to play with a balanced team, give exposure to the youngsters but also keep on winning games.”
Hafeez, who hit a century in the one-off Test prior to the ODI series, said his hard work was finally paying off. “The hard work in the last few years is paying off for me,” said the all-rounder. “I worked a lot on my fitness and I think I really understand the game now. “The plan was simple — to spend time on the pitch and it worked wonders for us.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2011.
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