Hafeez helped himself to a superb 136 not out off 130 deliveries with nine fours and five sixes as Pakistan posted a formidable 299 for 4
after being asked to bat by Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe, who won the first match of the series by seven wickets, could only manage 209 in 42.4 overs with Junaid capturing 4 for 15 in
Hafeez, who was dropped when on 30, brought up his sixth ODI hundred off 111 balls, while he shared a 129-run fourth-wicket partnership with Umar Amin. Amin contributed a watchful 59 off 71 deliveries, his first ODI fifty, before being run out in the 43rd over after a direct hit from Tendai Chatara at the keeper’s end.
Shahid Afridi then provided the innings with some late impetus as he blazed his way to 39 not out off just 23 balls, his sparkling knock
including a four and three sixes. Afridi’s late charge ensured that he and Hafeez added 86 runs off a mere 7.3 overs for the fifth wicket.
“I'm really happy scoring runs at crucial stages for my team,” said Hafeez afterwards. “We knew that it was tough to bat first, they
bowled in the right areas in the first 20 overs. We were actually looking for a score around 260, not 300.
“Amin showed confidence and I was backing him as a senior, I just told him to play straight. We wanted to win this game and the boys showed great commitment. The pitch changed a little bit later and our bowlers did a great job.”
Zimbabwe’s run chase was based around a dogged 79 off 94 deliveries from Brendan Taylor after the early loss of Hamilton Masakadza (24), Vusi Sibanda (1) and Timycen Maruma (8). Sean Williams weighed in with an aggressive 37 off 38 balls as he and Taylor put on 70 runs for the fourth wicket before Williams was stumped off Saeed Ajmal.
Taylor and Malcolm Waller kept Zimbabwe in the contest with a 65-run fifth-wicket stand but both men fell in the space of two balls to
effectively seal the contest for the visitors.
Taylor was well caught by Mohammed Irfan at short fine leg off Ajmal while Waller, who contributed 40 off 42 deliveries, was bowled by
Taylor’s departure heralded the start of a collapse as Zimbabwe lost its last five wickets for the addition of just nine runs with Junaid
taking three of the wickets to fall. The spin duo of Ajmal and Abdur Rehman ended with two wickets apiece.
The third and final match of the series takes place in Harare on Saturday.