HARARE: Pakistan registered a seven-wicket win in their second game against Zimbabwe in the tri-nation series and booked a place in the final.
Fakhar Zaman, Hussain Talat and the skipper Sarfraz Ahmed played attractive innings of 47 (38), 44 (35) and 38* (21), while Shoaib Malik scored crucial 12 runs on 6 deliveries to take Pakistan to a win.
Pakistan captain Sarfraz won the toss and opted to bowl first. Pakistan made two changes in the side that played their first two games, with Mohammad Hafeez dropped for Haris Sohail, while Mohammad Amir came in for Usman Khan.
Solomon Mire played an exquisite and fell just six runs short of his maiden century as Zimbabwe made their highest total so far in the Twenty20 tri-series.
Opening the batting, Mire cracked 94 from 63 to help set up Zimbabwe’s total of 162 for 4 after they were put in to bat by Pakistan.
Mire started slowly, scoring just seven from his first eight deliveries as Cephas Zhuwao lead Zimbabwe’s charge with the bat.
But Mire soon caught up, hitting his first six into the stands beyond long leg to move into the 20s. The opening stand was snapped at 49 when Zhuwao had his leg stump pinned back swinging wildly at Ashraf.
Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza didn’t last long, beaten by leg spinner Shadab Khan to be bowled for 2. Mire was shifting through the gears at the other end, however, and took two sixes off Khan, the second of which flew clean out of the ground, necessitating the delivery of a new ball to the middle.
Mire’s fourth six took him to a 32-ball half century, his first in this format, and he wasn’t done there. Mire collected a fifth six with a huge strike down the ground off Mohammad Nawaz’ left-arm spin, and then lifted fast bowler Mohammad Amir for the biggest hit of the day, over the roof of the three storey stand beyond midwicket.
He eventually fell for 94 attempting another big hit, but his 64-run third wicket stand with Tarisai Musakanda had boosted Zimbabwe to a respectable total after two poor outings in this tournament.
Faheem Ashraf was the pick of the bowler with one wicket to his name conceding 24 runs. Whereas, the returning Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan and Hussain Talat took one wicket each.