The Sunday Mail
AN unbeaten half-century by Omair Bin Yousuf propelled Pakistan Shaheens to a 177-run victory over Zimbabwe Select, in the fifth Unofficial One Day International played at Harare Sports Club on Thursday.
Fresh off a century in the previous game, Yousuf was again the hosts’ chief tormentor as his 89 runs off 87 balls turned out to be the backbone of the visitors’ innings.
Sean Williams, standing in for the injured Wellington Masakadza, won the toss and elected to bowl first.
It was a decision the Zimbabwe Select skipper would regret, as Pakistan’s top order thrived.
The Pakistan opening duo of Imran Butt and Haseebullah Khan chipped in with half-centuries, as the two rushed to a 139-run first-wicket partnership.
Butt finished on 64 runs off 65 balls, while Khan made 62 runs off 77 balls.
Only Brendon Mavuta made some headway with the ball, as he finished with two wickets for 39 runs during his eight overs, while Luke Jongwe and Sikandar Raza chipped in with a wicket apiece.
Pakistan Shaheens’ top order ensured that the visitors put on what turned out to be a match-winning 314 runs for six in their allotted 50 overs.
The target turned out to be too much for the hosts, as they lost wickets at regular intervals on their way to 137 all-out.
Clive Madande continued with his purple patch with the bat, but was left stranded on 41 runs off 46 balls, after witnessing his batting partners fall at every turn.
The duo of Qasim Akram and Shahnawaz Dahani finished as the pick of the Pakistan bowlers, taking three for nine runs and three for 29 runs, respectively.
The visitors’ win means that the Zimbabwe Select side takes a 3-2 lead going into the sixth and final match of the series on Saturday.