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Cricket | Zimbabwe Twenty20 Tri-Series 2018

Fakhar Zaman © Gallo Images

Pakistan book place in tri-series final with Australia



Pakistan knocked Zimbabwe out of the Twenty20 tri-series in Harare in a closely-fought encounter on Wednesday, beating the hosts by seven wickets with five deliveries to spare.

Full Scorecard: Zimbabwe v Pakistan

Captain Sarfraz Ahmed saw his side home with an unbeaten 38, rendering Zimbabwean allrounder Solomon Mire's efforts earlier in the game in vain.

Pakistan's chase was given a rapid start by the openers.

Haris Sohail and Fakhar Zaman took 56 from the Powerplay, but Sohail holed out soon afterwards.

When Zaman skied Mire to depart for 47, Pakistan needed more than eight runs an over from the last eight overs, but Ahmed's innings of calm precision kept them up with the asking rate.

Executing his attacking strokes perfectly, Ahmed found the gaps and the boundaries whenever they were needed.

DEFT TOUCH

He displayed a particularly deft touch with his late cut, taking boundaries off left-arm spinners Tendai Chisoro and Wellington Masakadza with the stroke.

With four runs needed from the final over, it was also the shot he used to end the game, gliding seamer Chris Mpofu to the third man boundary.

Pakistan will face Australia to decide the series' winner on Thursday.

Earlier, Mire fell just short of his maiden century as Zimbabwe made their highest total so far in the tri-series.

Opening the batting, Mire cracked 94 from 63 to help set up Zimbabwe’s total of 162 for 4 after they were put in to bat by Pakistan.

SLOW START

Mire started slowly, scoring just seven from his first eight deliveries as Cephas Zhuwao lead Zimbabwe’s charge with the bat.

But Mire soon caught up, hitting his first six into the stands beyond long leg to move into the 20s. The opening stand was snapped at 49 when Zhuwao had his leg stump pinned back swinging wildly at Ashraf.

Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza didn’t last long, beaten by legspinner Shadab Khan to be bowled for two. Mire was shifting through the gears at the other end, however, and took two sixes off Khan, the second of which flew clean out of the ground, necessitating the delivery of a new ball to the middle.

Mire’s fourth six took him to a 32-ball half century, his first in this format, and he wasn’t done there. Mire collected a fifth six with a huge strike down the ground off Mohammad Nawaz’ left-arm spin, and then lifted fast bowler Mohammad Amir for the biggest hit of the day, over the roof of the three storey-stand beyond midwicket.

He eventually fell for 94 attempting another big hit, but his 64-run third wicket stand with Tarisai Musakanda had boosted Zimbabwe to a respectable total after two poor outings in this tournament.


ZIMBABWE: Solomon Mire, Cephas Zhuwao, Hamilton Masakadza (capt), Tarisai Musakanda, Peter Moor (wk), Elton Chigumbura, Malcolm Waller, Tendai Chisoro, Chris Mpofu, Wellington Masakadza, Blessing Muzarabani

PAKISTAN: Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hussain Talat, Sarfraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir



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