Malik-inspired comeback comes to nothing as poor visibility denies the visitors
Pakistan were denied a chance to complete an incredible comeback as some absurd officiating saw them end five runs short of the Duckworth-Lewis par score after 48 overs as bad light called off play at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday.
The hosts had looked in danger of suffering a humiliating defeat after their top and middle order had collapsed to leave them 76-6, with debutant Bilal Asif being dismissed for a third-ball duck in the first over before skipper Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq followed suit with one each.
The hosts were rejuvenated by a superb partnership of 111 between Shoaib Malik and newbie Aamer Yamin.
Yamin was then dismissed as he tried to hook Zimbabwe skipper Elton Chigumbura and was quickly followed by Wahab Riaz to leave Pakistan staring down the barrel.
However, an unbeaten 63-run stand between Malik and Yasir Shah (32 off 22 balls) left Pakistan needing 21 runs off the last two overs with momentum firmly in their favour.
A 10-minute stop in play due to a light drizzle came back to haunt Pakistan as the light was not deemed good enough, leaving Pakistan and Malik — who remained unbeaten on a 106-ball 96 and looked odds on to score a century — stranded.
Earlier on, a composed 90 from Chamu Chibhabha and a late flourish from Elton Chigumbura took Zimbabwe to a competitive total in the second ODI against Pakistan.
Under pressure after being bowled out for a paltry 128 in the series opener, Zimbabwe’s batsmen gave a better reflection of their abilities in posting 276-6 after being asked to bat first. Their innings was founded on Chibhabha’s fifth half-century of the year, as the opener steadily went about constructing an innings after encountering some swing early on.
His 91-run stand with rookie Brian Chari laid the groundwork as Zimbabwe progressed to 118-1 in the 29th over before a late assault saw them post a total that proved just out of Pakistan’s reach in an absurd end to an intriguing tie.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2015.
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