Harare. (News Of The South) – Zimbabwe Cricket lost their opening ODI match against Pakistan played at the Harare Sports Club Thursday by a whopping 131 runs in the 3 match series with the second of the fixtures slated for Saturday at the same venue with the final ODI, already looking set to be a dead rubber being on Monday at HSC.
Chevrons` skipper Elton Chigumbura won the toss and elected to field. The Chevrons however got off to a good start but Pakistan found their way back into the game with their lower middle order stabilising them before ensuring that they posted a decent score.
As the Chevrons tore through Pakistan`s top-order, Luke Jongwe, Tinashe Panyangara and John Nyumbu all ended with a wicket apiece. Luke Jongwe was the most economical with an economy of 4.66 whilst the other two had maidens apiece.
Pakistan clawed their way back through Imad Wasim and Mohammad Rizwan who made a strong partnership of 124 runs which put them into the match.
Rizwan ended with career best figures of 75 not out whilst his counterpart Wasim ended with 61, which apparently was his maiden international fifty. This then led the visitors to a decent total of 259-6 which was always going to be somehow difficult for the Chevrons to chase down.
The batsman came in and they once again struggled to build any sustainable partnerships as they were scuttled out for pathetic figures. Brian Chari and Chamu Chibhabha opened up the batting line-up and the experiment did not really go down well as the two had a partnership of 23 which somehow was the 2nd highest for the Chevrons but was still not enough. The Chevrons have become accustomed to posting pathetic figures especially our openers who leave it all to the already weak middle order.
The fact is they never establish a strong foundation for the chase, something viable that the middle order can then build on, it`s always these pathetic figures.
Chamu Chibhabha was the first to falter going out for just 12 which is so unlike the man himself who has been our beacon of hope lately. Masakadza and Chari could again only manage a partnership of 15 with the 3rd wicket partnership between Masakadza and Sean Williams being as well a dismal 16.
This just goes on to show that we are in dire need of reliable openers on whom we can at least rely on for a solid foundation so that by the time we reach the 7th wicket there`s still actually something to fight for and it`s not just a case of Elton Chigumbura smacking balls for the fun of it.
The strongest partnership of the match came from Sean Williams and Sikander Raza, who had a stand of 35 before Sean Williams was bowled by Shoaib Malik going out for 26.
The star from the Chevrons` innings was Yasir Shah who walked away with a nice six-pack to his name. Yasir Shah claimed the scalps of Chari, Masakadza,Sikander-Raza, Mutmbami with Chigumbura`s wicket wrapping up his five-for. He was not done yet as he also went further to claim the wicket of Tinashe Panyangara which wrapped up the Chevrons` innings at 128-10 with the star ending his day with figures of 6-26. Mohammad Irfan was the most economical of the Pakistan bowlers with an economy of 1.75 letting off a brilliant 7 runs from 4 overs.
Shoaib Malikl also tore through the Chevrons` batting line up as he ended with three wickets which was the equivalent of three of our top bowlers on the day on the day as Pakistan went on to show going on to show the difference that clearly lies between the two teams.
Right now Dav Whtamore`s nightmare must be that throughout this series, every match is going too be like dejavu for him as we are all going to be like we have seen this before and we know how it is going to play out. This has been more or less the case with the Chevrons and it is fast becoming frustrating whereby they usually get off to a good start but then end up failing to finish off the job and though the team was progressing during the world cup, that was then and we all appreciated it as we saw it but now from this series it is clearly not.
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