They were just short of their 1992 bad start where they lost three consecutive matches before winning the remaining three to progress to knockouts. After two losses, to the relief of all Pakistan managed to open its account. The match was won by just 20 runs and the batting was exposed again, yet the ever-reliant Misbah, allround performance by Wahab Riaz and exceptional spell by Mohammad Irfan stopped the fearless Zimbabwe batsmen from chasing 236 runs. In World Cup rivalry Pakistan leads Zimbabwe 5-0 with one match getting abandoned.
- MOM: Wahab Riaz
Pak leads Zim 5-0 in 6 matches at World Cup.
- 50s: 73 Misbah, 54* Wahab Riaz, 50 Brendon Taylor.
Only 1 six (Wahab Riaz) in the match.
156 runs in 3 matches makes Misbah the only Pakistani to aggregate 100+ runs in World Cup 2015.
- 4/30 makes Mohammad Irfan the most economic and successful bowler of the match.
9 Maidens: Zim 5, Pak 4. 2 each by Chatara and Irfan.
Misbah, the Saviour & Riaz Take Pak to 235/7
Electing to bat first, Pakistan were shocked by Chatara as he sent both the openers Nasir Jamshed (1) and Ahmed Shehzad (0) in his first tow overs. Haris Sohail (27) stabilised the innings with Captain Misbah but Sikandar Raza got him caught by Williams in 21st over. Pak were 58/3 then.
Zimbabwe bowling continued with the same performance. Their first 25 overs are exceptional and then the opposition tears them apart in the next 25 overs. Pakistan batsmen could not exploit as much as South Africa or Ireland did. But, they did manage to save their wickets. Misbah (121-ball 73 runs) and Umar Akhmal (42-ball 33 runs) added 69 runs for the 4th wicket. Shahid Afridi and Umar Akhmal were sent back by SC Williams in 34th over leaving them again in trouble just before the start of Batting PowerPlay.
Sohaib Maqsood (17-ball 21 runs) fell in the 39th over. Misbah was the 7th wicket to fall in 47th over as he added 47 runs for 7th wicket with Wahab (unbeaten 46-ball 54 runs with a six and 6 4s), who added unbeaten 33 runs with Sohail Khan (6 runs) for the 8th wicket.
For Zimbabwe, Panyangara (0/49 with a maiden), Chatara (3/35 with 2 maidens) and SC Williams (2/48 with a maiden) completed their spell. Mupariwa (1/36 with a maiden in 8), Masakadza (0/14 in 3), Chigumbura (0/7 in 1), Sikandar Raza (1/34 in 7) and Solomon Mire (0/9 in 1) completed the remaining 20 overs.
Zimbabwe Could Manage 215 runs
Zimbabwe innings started with the wickets of openers Chibhabha (9) and Sikandar Raza (8). Both were caught by Haris Sohail on the bowling of Mohammad Irfan. Masakadza (29) built 52 runs partnership with Brendom Taylor, but Irfan returned in 22nd over to get him caught by Misbah. Taylor (72-ball 50 runs) added another 54 runs for 4th wicket with SC Williams (32-ball 33) but Wahab Riaz struck and got him caught behind by Umar Akhmal. Rahat Ali got Williams in 34th over as Pakistan reached 150/5.
In the Batting PowerPlay, Solomon Mire (8), Ervine (14) and Mupariwa (0) became the victim of Wahab Riaz, with all being caught behind. The score read 168/8 at the end of PowerPlay.
From there on Panyangara (10) gave company to Chigumbura till 49.3 overs but they could add only 47 runs for the 9th wicket. Next ball saw Chigumbura (run a ball 35 runs) falling to Wahab Riaz caught behind as Umar Akhmal completed 5 catches behind the wicket.
The win was not convincing enough as batsmen still failed, except the captain. Pak’s key strength bowling did perform as a unit. For Zimbabwe, it was repeat of previous matches where their bowlers appear unplayable for first 25 overs and then they loose steam. Their batsmen appears to have develop knack of falling short in chase and at least today they will have to blame themselves only.