HARARE (TNS): Pakistan defeated Zimbabwe by 7 wickets in a clinical run-chase as they romped the target of 163 in the last over to clinch a berth in the final of the Tri-nation series.
Pakistan Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed who won the toss and elected to field first received a counter attacking bashing from the Zimbabweans in the first six overs as Solomon Mire and Cephas Zhuwao put up a solid partnership of 49. At one stage the looked to achieve a healthy first innings total of 180 but as wickets crumbled in the last 5 overs Zimbabwe were restricted to 162-4 by the Amir- led Pakistani bowling attack.
Pakistan, however did not look nervy in their runchase as expected as Fakhar bashed the bowlers with command and looked good for his 47 smashing 4 fours and a six. Islamabad United’s young star Hussain Talat made a handy 44 as anchored the innings at one end.
But the innings which provided the impetus to the rumchase was the knock of the skipper as Sarfraz thrashed the bowlers with authority scoring 38 off just 21 including 6 fours at Strike of 180.95.
Pakistan will now face Australia in the final of the Tri nation series on Sunday.
Despite Pakistan overcoming Zimbabwe to secure their place in the tri-series final, their captain Sarfraz Ahmed was vocal in the criticism of his bowling attack. “The bowling was not up to the mark,” he said shortly after guiding his side to a seven-wicket win. “They have to work hard.”
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe have been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during their match against Pakistan on Wednesday in Harare. As a result, captain Hamilton Masakadza has been fined 20 per cent of his match fees while the rest of the team copped a fine of 10 per cent each.
Zimbabwe were found an over short of the target after taking time allowances into consideration. The charges were labelled by the on-field umpires Langton Rusere and Iknow Chabi, the third umpire Russell Tiffin and the fourth umpire Jeremiah Matibiri. Match referee Jeff Crowe imposed the fine after Masakadza pleaded guilty.
If Zimbabwe, under the captaincy of Masakadza, commit another over-rate offence in the next 12 months, Masakadza will face suspension.
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