Perth: Zimbabwe held their nerves to beat Pakistan by one run in a thrilling Super 12 match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 at Perth Stadium, here on Thursday.
This was Pakistan’s second defeat in two games and their road to the semifinal has become difficult now. Mohammad Wasim Jr (4/24) and Shadab Khan’s (3/23) clinical bowling performance helped Pakistan restrict Zimbabwe to 130/8 in 20 overs. The likes of Wasim and Shadab combined to bag seven wickets to trigger a drastic collapse, and were well aided by Haris Rauf (1/12) who proved hard to score off.
Chasing a below-par total, Pakistan lost the wickets of Mohammad Rizwan (14) and Babar Azam (4) in the powerplay and were in trouble. Shan Masood then played a fighting knock (44 off 38) and kept his team alive in the run chase. However, once he got out, the game was slipping from the hands of Pakistan as Zimbabwe bowlers were not giving any freebies.
But, the likes of Mohammad Nawaz (22) along with Mohammad Wasim Jr (12 not out) were not ready to give up. However, Pakistan’s hopes got shattered when Nawaz got out in the second last ball of the last over of the innings. They were eventually restricted to 129-8 in 20 overs, losing by 1 run. Sikandar Raza was the most successful bowler for Zimbabwe with his brilliant figures of 3/25. Brad Evans (2/25) was superb as well.
Earlier, winning the toss and opting to bat first, Zimbabwe got off to a flier as a daring Wessley Madhevere and skipper Craig Ervine played some eye-catching shots inside the first two overs. With five boundaries inside the first three overs, Zimbabwe had a fabulous start, racing away at 10 runs per over. Some of that early momentum toned down when Ervine was sent back by Haris Rauf and his partner got trapped in front by Wasim in the following over. Shadab Khan prized out Milton Shumba before Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza went about the resurrection work.
Things turned south pretty quickly soon when Shadab sent back Williams and Regis Chakabva off successive deliveries, the latter dismissed off a spectacular grab at first slip by Babar Azam. Shadab completed a brilliant spell of 4-0-23-3 but there was more in store for Zimbabwe from the other end. In the very next over after losing two wickets off back-to-back balls to Shadab, Zimbabwe lost a further two as Mohammad Wasim dismissed Raza and Luke Jongwe off successive balls.
Once 95/3, which appeared to be a solid start, quickly turned into 95/7 as Pakistan’s bowlers went on a rampage in Perth. Eventually, they put up 130/8 on board with some help from Bradley Evans down the order. Brief Score: Zimbabwe 130/8 in 20 overs (Sean Williams 31, Brad Evans 19; Mohammad Wasim Jr 4/24, Shadab Khan 3/23) beat Pakistan 129-8 in 20 overs (Shan Masood 44, Mohammad Nawaz 22; Sikandar Raza 3/25, Brad Evans 2/25) by 1 run.