ISLAMABAD, Nov 03 (APP):Zimbabwe went on to win the third and last ODI against Pakistan as the game was decided on ‘Super Over’ at the Pindi Stadium, Rawalpindi on Tuesday. The Super over for Zimbabwe was bowled by Blessing Muzarabani where Ifthikhar Ahmed went on a duck while Khushdil Shah could only score a run before getting dismissed. Fakhar Zaman also made a run in the over.
Pakistan gave a three-run target to Zimbabwe which they easily chased with three-balls remaining in Shaheen Shah Afridi’s over when Brendan Taylor (1) and Sikandar Raza (2) did the job done for Zimbabwe. Blessing was declared man of the match for his five-wicket haul for 49 runs.
Pakistani Skipper Babar Azam played a superb innings of 125 runs on as many balls and hit 13 4s and a six. Pakistan’s hope had ended when Babar lost his wicket in the 48.6 over but Musa Khan hit a four on the last ball of the second innings tying the match for nine.
Babar and Khushdil Shah who debuted in the third ODI against Zimbabwe and received the cap from head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, provided a 63-run partnership for the 6th wicket after he gave his wicket to Blessing on 33 runs in 30.6 over. Babar’s 12th ODI century came on 105 balls in the 42.4 over. Wahab who was dropped on 38 by Sikandar Raza hit 52 runs including three 4s and as many 6s before he was taken by Williams in Blessing’s over.
Babar and Wahab provided a 100-run partnership for the 7th wicket on 95 balls. Blessing struck again and took Shaheen Shah Afridi (2) and the danger man Babar Azam (125). The prolific batsman played 125 balls and hit 13 4s and a six. For Pakistan, Imam ul Haq was the first to be sent to the pavilion as he was bold for four on the third ball of the first over by Blessing. Opener Fakhar Zaman (2) also didn’t take long at the crease and was deemed lbw in 1.2 overs by Richard Ngarava.
A review was taken but it stood umpire’s call as ball was clipping top of the leg. Ngarava struck again and Pakistan lost its third wicket in the form of Haider Ali (13 including three 4s) who got lbw in the 3.1 over. Wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan was the next to go on 10 runs. He was bold by Donald Tiripano when he tried to drive the ball away from the body but it went thick inside edge onto stumps.
Ifthikhar Ahmed who was the man of the match in the second ODI for his five-wicket haul was bold by Tiripano on 18 runs in 17.3 over. Earlier, Pakistani bowlers were unable to produce the magic against Zimbabwe expect for young pacer Mohammad Hasnain whose five-wicket haul came from 26 runs in 10 overs.
Hasnain’s biggest wicket was of the danger man Brendan Taylor in the 25.1 over when the latter was about to settle down after scoring a half century. Taylor was the second highest scorer for Zimbabwe as he scored 56 runs off 68 balls including eight 4s. Taylor and Sean Williams provided 84-runs partnership for the 4th wicket. Zimbabwe’s Skipper Chamu Chibhabha was the first one to be sent to the pavilion on a duck by Hasnain in the 1.3 over. Craig Ervine (1) and Brian Chari (9) were also taken by Hasnain in the 3.4 and 7.2 overs, respectively.
Hasnain struck again for Pakistan and completed his five-wicket haul when he ended the 75-runs partnership for the 5th wicket between Wesley Madhevere and Williams in the 37.6 over. He clinched Madhevere’s (33) wicket when he was 17 runs short of his half century.
For Zimbabwe, Williams, who was dropped four times on 12, 73, 75 and 81 remained unbeaten on 118 and was the highest scorer. He hit 13 4s and a six while Williams and Sikandar Raza provided a 96-run partnership for the 6th wicket which helped Zimbabwe to reach a target of 278 for six in 50 overs who elected to bat after winning the toss. Sikandar Raza (45 runs off 36 balls including four 4s and a six) went short five runs to reach his 50 and was bold by Wahab Raiz. Raza went on for a big shot, missed it and the ball hit the middle stump in the 49.5 over.
However, Pakistan had won the three-match ODI series by 2-0. Pakistan won the first ODI by 26 runs while defeated Zimbabwe by six wickets in the second.
The three Twenty20s between both the teams would be played on November 7, 8 and 10 at the same venue.
Speaking at the post match conference, Babar said we would learn from our mistakes and will see where we lacked. “We lacked a partnership at the top order and I am disappointed that I and Wahab didn’t finish when we had the partnership going,” he said.
Babar lauded Williams saying he played an outstanding innings and also set the pressure in bowling. “Winning and losing is part of the game and I’m satisfied with my players,” he said.
Speaking about the super over, he said we sent Fakhar, Khushdil and Ifthikhar as per planning as they all were finishers. On the upcoming T20 series, he said changes would depend on the situation.
Meanwhile, Williams said this win was huge for them. “I think the first game was a close game and the second not so much but we had to work hard for the third one,” he said.
He said Pakistan definitely had their chances as I was dropped four times, if they had taken my first catch I was on 12 runs.
“The whole mental approach towards the game has changed and playing against these good teams will allow us to have those younger guys (Madhevere, Blessing) to play and beat those teams,” he said and added it felt like we deserved to win the game as our guys worked really hard.