ZIM vs PAK, 4th T20I, Review: Clinical Pakistan seal their place in the final
The confident top-order batsmen helped the visitors win the game by 7 wickets.
Updated - Jul 4, 2018 5:13 pm
Zimbabwe and Pakistan locked horns in what was the must-win encounter for the hosts in order to stay alive in the ongoing tri-seires. But the visitors proved to be too good once again despite putting up an imporved show compared to the earlier matches. Soloman Mire played a spirited knock of 94 runs but lacked a significant support from the other end even as the Pakistan batsmen easily chased down the total of 163 runs to seal their place in the final of the series.
After being invited to bat first, the new opening pair of Soloman Mire and Cephas Zhuwao got Zimbabwe off to a sparkling start as they took the attack to the bowlers in the powerplay overs. While the latter was lucky at times, his partner was authoritative in his stroke-making and troubled Pakistan at times. They added 49 for the first wicket as Faheem Ashraf castled the left-hander in the 8th over.
But Mire had got into his groove as he continued smacking the leather despite losing his skipper Hamilton Masakadza at the other end for 2 runs. However, Tarisai Musakanda supported him well as they stitched a stand of 64 runs for the third wicket which threatened to take the score close to 170. But the wicket of Mire when he was on 94 killed all the momentum in the innings as they managed to post only 162 runs for the loss of 4 wickets after 20 overs.
Musakanda played a vital knock of 33 runs off just 22 balls but the death bowling from the World number 1 team which restricted them to a middling total.
Pakistan was expected to gun down the total of 163 runs easily and they didn’t disappoint their fans a bit. It all started with Fakhar Zaman playing his strokes in the first 6 overs after striding out to the middle with a new opening partner in Haris Sohail. Both added 58 runs before the latter was sent back by the skipper Masakadza for 16 to ignite the hopes for his team.
But the 47-run knock from the aggressive left-hander kept the eking out the runs and the boundaries whenever required. He got an able supporter in the form of the youngster Hussain Talat. However, the hero with the bat, Mire, did wonders with the ball as well by taking the prized scalp of Zaman which only brought in the skipper of Pakistan Sarfraz Ahmed.
He calmed the nerves early on and then played riskfree cricket along with Talat to ensure the victory for his team. Both of them got boundaries at the right time to bring the required run-rate down and just when things were looking easy for them, Talat lost his composure and gave away his wicket in the 18th over. It didn’t have any effect on the outcome of the game as Shoaib Malik continued the dominance by smashing the first ball for four.
The Men in Green eventually sealed the game in the final over as their captain fittingly hit the winning runs to remain unbeaten on 38 runs off just 21 cherries. Pakistan have now sealed their place in the final and they will face Australia for the title with two league games still to go. Zimbabwe have been extremely poor in their execution in this series and have been knocked out now.
Zimbabwe 162/4 after 20 overs (S Mire 94, T Musakanda 33; F Ashraf 1/24)
Pakistan 163/3 after 19.1 overs (F Zaman 47, H Talat 44; S Mire 1/15)
Result: Pakistan won by 7 wickets
Man of the Match: Soloman Mire