Shehzad record 98* sets up 2-0 sweep

PAKISTAN 179 for 1 (Shehzad 98*, Hafeez 54*) beat Zimbabwe 160 for 6 (H Masakadza 41, Hafeez 3-30, Babar 2-21) by 19 runs.


HARARE — Ahmed Shehzad established several records on way to plundering Zimbabwe for an unbeaten 98, which sealed a 2-0 sweep of the Twenty20 (T20) series for Pakistan.

Shehzad bettered his best T20 international innings of 70, achieved in the previous game, to make the highest score in the format by a Pakistan batsman, going past Misbah-ul-Haq’s 87* against Bangladesh in Karachi in 2008.

Heaving the ball repeatedly over the leg-side boundary to become the first from his country to hit six sixes in a T20 innings, Shehzad added 143 for the second wicket with Mohammad Hafeez, making it the highest T20 partnership by a Pakistan pair.

The previous best was 142 for the first wicket between Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt against Bangladesh at Gros Islet in the 2010 World Twenty20.
Shehzad’s innings was yet another example of how much damage top-order batsmen can cause in T20s, if they take a bit of time instead of throwing their bats at everything from the first ball.

The first five that Shehzad played were all dots, from the offspinner Prosper Utseya. To the sixth, Shehzad charged out and lofted over long-on for six.

In Zimbabwe’s defence, whenever Shehzad and Hafeez mishit the ball, it never came close to carrying to the deep fielders.And their fast bowlers never got the yorkers right, sending down length deliveries and full tosses instead, which Pakistan put away with ease.

Anwar Ali was taken for three fours in his first over and Zimbabwe were keeping up with the asking-rate at 44 for 0 after the first five.
Then came the spinners, and Zimbabwe, again, had no answers.

Hamilton Masakadza fought to make 41, but Hafeez had him pulling to deep midwicket in the 14th. Babar’s double-strike in the next over sent Zimbabwe plummeting further to 109 for 5.

Elton Chigumbura and Malcolm Waller tried, but Shehzad had pulled so far in front that even an inexperienced attack wasn’t really pushed.

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