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Zimbabwe levels series despite thrilling Malik fightback

Pakistan falls five runs short via D/L method in second ODI after Zimbabwe puts up 276/6

Zimbabwe levels series despite thrilling Malik fightback - Cricket News
Elton Chigumbura added to the total with a brisk knock of 67 off 55 deliveries
Shoaib Malik's brilliant fightback was foiled by bad light as Zimbabwe beat Pakistan by five runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method in a thrilling second One-Day International at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday (October 3).
 
Malik ended the innings on 96 not out off 106 balls, having lifted Pakistan from 76 for 6 to 256 for 8 in 48 overs, when the players were forced to go off the field for bad light.

A good show by the batsmen had earlier powered Zimbabwe to 276 for 6.

The result meant the three-match ODI series was level, setting up Monday’s deciding tour finale nicely.
 
Zimbabwe, who was under pressure after a heavy defeat in the first ODI, turned things around well. Chamu Chibhabha anchored the innings with a composed 125-ball 90, while Elton Chigumbura added to the flourish with a brisk knock of 67 off 55 balls. Chigumbura would later return to make key strikes in the field, with the wicket of Aamer Yamin and the run-out of Wahab Riaz. The all-round show earned the Zimbabwe captain the Man of the Match award.
 


Pakistan won the toss and opted to bowl, handing a debut to the 30-year-old Bilal Asif, and resting Imad Wasim, who had starred in the first Twenty20 International with a four-wicket haul.
 
However, Zimbabwe’s batsmen put up an improved showing to negate the effect of losing the toss. Chibhabha’s fifth half-century of the year led Zimbabwe’s effort, and included a 91-run stand with Brian Chari and a 59-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Chigumbura.

"The partnership between Chamu and Chari set things up for us," said Chigumbura after the match. "There was lots of pressure for the team and the way we went out there today showed good character."

Once Chibhabha had been caught behind off Riaz, Chigumbura put on 62 runs in six overs with Sikandar Raza, before being dismissed hit-wicket to give Riaz his fourth wicket. The left-arm seamer eventually ended with 4 for 63 in 10 overs.
 
Zimbabwe’s seamers then gave their side the upper hand, reducing Pakistan to 56 for 5. Graeme Cremer then removed Mohammad Rizwan to make it 76 for 6, as the game appeared to be slipping away.

However, Malik joined with Yamin in a brilliant, counter-attacking 111-run stand for the seventh wicket that came at a run-a-ball.

Chigumbura struck the decisive blow, having Yamin caught down the legside for 62, and then ran out Riaz, but Malik was still going strong. He continued his blitz, finding good support in Yasir Shah, who remained unbeaten on 32 off 22 balls.
 


 
With 21 needed off the final two overs and the match delicately poised, the fading light had the final say, and Zimbabwe emerged victorious with Pakistan just behind on Duckworth-Lewis.
 
"It was a lovely game," said Azhar Ali, the Pakistan captain. "Malik and Yamin made us come back when it looked like a one-sided game. Zimbabwe played really well."

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