HARARE: Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez shared a 143-run partnership with Ahmed Shehzad and then took three crucial wickets to set up a 19-run win over Zimbabwe in the second Twenty20 international on Saturday, clinching a 2-0 series win for the tourists.
Zimbabwe finished on 160-6 in 20 overs chasing Pakistan’s 179-1.
Shehzad hit 98 not out and Hafeez an unbeaten 54 for the bulk of Pakistan’s total, with their 143-run stand for the second wicket coming off just 86 balls as Zimbabwe’s bowlers were battered for the 14 overs the pair were together.
Hafeez also made a key contribution with the ball to claim the first three Zimbabwe wickets with his offspin, including top-scorer Hamilton Masakadza for 41. Elton Chigumbura hit 35 not out from 19 balls at the end in a losing effort for Zimbabwe, which got slightly closer than the first game on Friday, when the hosts lost by 25 runs.
Zulfiqar Babar took 2-21 to back up Hafeez’s three wickets for Pakistan.
Shehzad won the man of the match and man of the series awards after his second straight half-century of the series.
The opener’s 98 on Saturday came off just 64 balls and he just missed out on a maiden T20 century after needing three runs off the last ball of the innings to go to three figures. He only managed a single having already smashed six fours and six sixes in his brutal knock.
Hafeez’s half-century was off 40 deliveries and the pair carved Zimbabwe’s attack apart from the sixth over after Nasir Jamshed was out for 23 and Pakistan was 36-1.
Seamer Shingirai Masakadza was the only wicket taker with 1-42 and six of Zimbabwe’s seven bowlers went for more than seven runs an over.
Shehzad clubbed sixes in the 19th and 20th overs to race toward his century but was thwarted right at the end when, on 97, he could only clip the ball to midwicket for a single. Pakistan still had enough.
Zimbabwe openers Vusi Sibanda and Hamilton Masakadza shared a 50-run opening stand, but Hafeez removed Sibanda, captain Brendan Taylor and Masakadza in the space of 45 runs to dent Zimbabwe’s hopes.
Babar dismissed Sean Williams and Timycen Maruma in the space of three balls to leave Zimbabwe reeling at 104-5 and the home team couldn’t recover despite Chigumbura’s two fours and two sixes near the end. The countries also will contest three one-day internationals and two tests on the three-week tour.