The Zimbabwe cricket team failed to rise to the occasion yet again, succumbing to a 108 run loss to Pakistan in the third and final ODI match played at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
Report by Munyaradzi Madzokere
Zimbabwe needed a victory to record their first bilateral series triumph in 12 years, as the two teams went into the match one win apiece.
Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq played a calculated captain’s knock, to set Zimbabwe a competitive target of 161 scoring 67 runs off 85 balls and ably assisted by Ahmed Shehzad who managed 54.
The subcontinent visitors had suffered an early setback when star batsman Mohammed Hafeez wobbled off with a hamstring injury after scoring 12 runs, but Misbah steadied the ship for Pakistan.
Tendai Chitara who finished with bowling figures of three for 48 was the pick of the Zimbabwean bowlers.
In the chase, Zimbabwe never really got going losing wickets at regular intervals, capping yet another miserable day for Zimbabwe’s batting as seven batsmen failed to reach double figures.
Middle order batsman Malcolm Waller top scored for Zimbabwe with a valiant 48 run putting up a 50 run partnership with Propsper Utseya, the best for Andy Waller’s side.
Vusimuzi Sibanda went early in the fourth over for just two runs, caught by Umar Amin off the bowling of Hafeez.
Captain Brendan Taylor who seems to have rediscovered his batting prowess of late put up a 34 run partnership with Hamilton Masakadza, who soon departed for 25 runs in the 11th over before the captain was run out for 26 runs off 29 balls.
Zimbabwe made two changes to the side that played the first two matches with Shingi Masakadza replacing strike bowler Brian Vitori while Pakistani-born Sikandar Raza Butt replaced Timycen Maruma.
The decider was at one point doubtful as Zimbabwe players threatened to boycott the encounter owing to outstanding salaries and allowances, a factor that may have heavily influenced the team’s spineless performance.