Blessing Muzarabani led Zimbabwe A to a stunning 80-run victory over Pakistan Shaheens in the second one-day of the six-match series after scoring a fifty in 24 balls and taking four wickets.
Set to chase a par 237-run target, Pakistan Shaheens’ batting lineup faltered once again as they bundled out for a meagre 156 in the 38th over and thus handed a dominating victory to Zimbabwe A, who now leads the six-match series 2-0.
The next match is on Sunday at the Harare Sports Club.
The visitors were off to a poor start to the run chase as young batting sensation Saim Ayub bagged a golden duck.
Following an early hiccup, skipper Imran Butt partnered with Muhammad Huraira and took the team’s total to 44 in the 10th over Blessing Muzarabani drew a much-needed breakthrough for his side in the form of Huraira’s wicket.
Huraira smashed four boundaries and a six on his way to a 36-ball 33.
Pakistan Shaheens succumbed to another blow as Kamran Ghulam perished for a two-ball duck.
Butt then put on brief partnerships with Hussain Talat (10) and Haseebullah Khan (8) before Mubasir Khan joined him in the middle when Pakistan Shaheens were 71/5 in the 18th over.
Mubasir and Butt batted sensibly and stitched a fighting 73-run partnership for the sixth wicket.
When the pair looked in all sorts of control, Victor Nyauchi managed to claim the prized wicket of Butt and dented Pakistan Shaheens’ pursuit. He top-scored for his side with a cautious 45 off 81 deliveries, hitting three boundaries.
Sean Williams then put Zimbabwe A in complete control in the next over as he removed set batter Mubasir Khan on 44 as the Shaheens slipped to 147/7. He faced 60 deliveries amid his gritty knock and smashed seven boundaries.
Pakistan Shaheens’ batting tail did little resistance against a disciplined Zimbabwe A’s bowling attack as the hosts wrapped up the innings by taking the remaining three wickets within the next three overs.
Blessing Muzarabani led the bowling attack for Zimbabwe A with 4/23 while Nyauchi and Williams bagged two each.
Put into bat first, Zimbabwe A raised 236 at the back of an astounding half-century by their tailender Blessing Muzarabani despite Aamer Jamal’s five-wicket haul.
Jamal took a five-wicket haul to help Shaheens reduce the hosts to 169/9 in the 32nd over when Muzarabani joined fellow tailender Tendai Chatara at the crease and gathered a sensational 67-run last-wicket partnership.
Muzarabani remained not out on 50 while Chatara, who played a support role the whole time, was dismissed by Mir Hamza after scoring 15 from 20 balls.
Electing to bowl first, Shaheen secured an upper hand early on when Shahnawaz Dahani struck twice in two balls, removing opener Innocent Kaia (10) and no.3 Wessly Madhevere (0) in the fourth over.
Jamal picked his first wicket in the 11th over, dismissing Sean Williams on 13 before well-set Craig Ervine (23) also fell prey to him in his next over.
He then went to take three more wickets in his next spell between the 26th and 32nd over as wicket-keeper Clive Madande (43), skipper Wellington Masakadza (6) and Victor Nyauchi (9) were sent back by the right-arm pacer.
Ryan Burl, who held the fort for Zimbabwe alongside Madande with an excellent sixth-wicket stand of 88 runs, however, was bowled out by Mehran Mumtaz on 47 in the 31st over.