Malik and Khan earn Pakistan narrow win over fighting Zimbabwe

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:07 IST

Pakistan defeated a determined Zimbabwe by three-wickets in their second one-day international in Peshawar today.

Malik and Khan earn Pakistan narrow win over fighting Zimbabwe

Peshawar: All-rounder Shoaib Malik and Younis Khan returned to form with timely half centuries today to lead Pakistan to a narrow three-wicket win over a determined Zimbabwe in their second one-day international. Malik made 80 off 104 balls and Khan scored 77 as Pakistan recovered from an early scare of 48 for three to overhaul the 253-run victory target in 48.1 overs for the loss of seven wickets. Man of the match Khan, who did not figure in the ICC Champions Trophy in England last month due to poor form, earlier in the day also kept wicket after regular wicketkeeper Moin Khan missed the match due to influenza. Malik, dropped on 10 by a diving Mark Vermeulen in the slips, and Khan shared 114 runs off 128 balls for the match-winning fifth wicket partnership. Stuart Matsikenyeri brought off a spectacular sliding catch with both hands at long on to end Malik's innings when Pakistan required just 50 more runs for victory. Zimbabwe lost the first game at Multan last Thursday by a massive margin of 144 runs. With the scores levelled today, Khan was run out after hitting four boundaries and a flat six at covers. Shahid Afridi brought the crowd of around 15,000 hometown supporters at Arbab Niaz Stadium to their feet with a straight six off medium fast bowler Mluleki Nkala to give Pakistan the win. Zimbabwe's new-ball seamer Tinash Panyangara (3-28) mopped up Pakistan's shaky top order batting lineup, and reduced the host to 48 for three inside the first 10 overs. However, after Panyangara's opening burst, rest of the inexperienced Zimbabwe bowlers struggled, and both Malik and Khan played their strokes freely on both sides of the wickets. Earlier, Brendan Taylor and Dion Ebrahim struck half centuries against an under-strength Pakistan bowling attack and guided Zimbabwe to a solid 252 for four, after stand-in Pakistan captain Yousuf Youhana won the toss and elected to field first. Opening batsman Taylor made a defiant 73 off 122 balls, while Ebrahim scored an unbeaten 71 off 85 deliveries. Captain Tatenda Taibu accelerated the Zimbabwe innings in the last 10 overs with a brisk 46 off 33 balls and hammered three sixes in his 91-run unfinished fourth wicket stand off a mere 65 deliveries with Ebrahim. Pakistan rested speedster Shoaib Akhtar and all-rounder Abdul Razzaq after an easy win in the first game. Regular captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, with a groin injury, also missed today's game. Pakistan backup seamer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan took the wickets of Taylor and Vermeulen in one over, but was hammered for 82 runs off his 10 overs, with Taibu hoisting him for big six over square leg in the last over of the innings. Zimbabwe with two defeats against host Pakistan now has a rest of five days. It will meet Sri Lanka in back to back matches on October 9 and October 11 in Rawalpindi. The Sri Lankan team will arrive later today in the southern port city of Karachi where it will meet Pakistan on October 6. (AP)

Topics : Cricket
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