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Muzarabani stars with bat and ball as Zimbabwe Select prevail over Pakistan

Zimbabwe Select – 236 all out in 38.5 overs (Blessing Muzarabani 50*, Ryan Burl 47, Clive Madande 43; Aamer Jamal 5/75, Shahnawaz Dahani 2/36, Mir Hamza 1/30)

Pakistan Shaheens – 156 all out in 37.3 overs (Imran Butt 45, Mubasir Khan 44, Muhammad Hurraira 33; Blessing Muzarabani 4/23, Sean Williams 2/16, Victor Nyauchi 2/43)

Zimbabwe Select won by 80 runs

Blessing Muzarabani top-scored with a rapid unbeaten fifty and then took four for 23 as the Zimbabwe Select team powered to an 80-run victory over Pakistan Shaheens at Harare Sports Club on Friday to go two up in the six-match one-day series.

As in the first game on Wednesday, the tourists won the toss and put the hosts in to bat.

Disaster struck for the Zimbabweans in the fourth over, as Shahnawaz Dahani had Innocent Kaia (2) and Wessly Madhevere first ball caught off his pacy deliveries.

Tadiwanashe Marumani was run out for 16, and in quick succession Sean Williams went for 13 off eight balls and Craig Ervine for 23, both to Aamer Jamal.

The Zimbabweans were now in serious trouble at 57 for five wickets in the 13th over, again needing the later batters to repair the damage.

This came in the form of another outstanding partnership for the sixth wicket between Ryan Burl and Clive Madande.

Madande was the more aggressive of the two, scoring 43 off only 44 balls, with six fours, in their partnership of 88 in 15 overs, before he was caught off Jamal.

This bowler continued his breakthrough by taking the wickets of Wellington Masakadza (6) and Victor Nyauchi (9), while between them Burl’s innings ended for 47, scored off 60 balls with a six and four fours.

At 169 for nine the Zimbabweans were facing a likely losing score as the last man, Muzarabani, joined Tendai Chatara at the wicket in the 32nd over.

With nothing left to do for their team except to hit out and score what they could, that is what this pair proceeded to do, especially Muzarabani.

He began by scoring a two and a four off the first two balls he faced, from Jamal.

Considering their career batting records, the pair played a fine game in selecting which balls to hit without getting out, and once he had settled Muzarabani hit a six and a four off an over from the left-arm spinner Mehran Mumtaz and two successive fours in the next from the paceman Dahani.

Chatara was content to give his partner his head, and it took Muzarabani only 24 balls to reach his fifty, which included two sixes and seven fours.

Perhaps this landmark caused Chatara to relax his concentration, as he was caught off the next delivery for 15 and the innings was over for 236 with 11.1 overs wasted.

The last pair had added 67 runs in seven overs and given the Zimbabweans a reasonable chance now of forcing a victory.

Jamal finished with five wickets but took a lot of punishment, conceding 75 runs in his 10 overs.

The Pakistan Shaheens innings began with a series of fits and starts, with Chatara trapping Saim Ayub lbw with the very first ball of the innings.

Muhammad Hurraira batted well to score 33 off 36 balls, but then Muzarabani had both him and Kamran Ghulam, second ball, caught to make the score 44 for three.

The captain, Imran Butt, was still there, and he decided to play a cautious game and hold the innings together.

Muzarabani then removed Hussain Talat for 10, and when Sean Williams ran out Haseebullah Khan for eight, the score was 71 for five in the 18th over and the Zimbabweans were right on top.

Then began the fightback, as Mubasir Khan came in and took the attack to the bowlers with some aggressive strokes, which encouraged Imran to increase his pace also.

With good strokeplay they took the score to 144 for five after 34 overs, with both batters now in the forties, and the partnership was beginning to worry the Zimbabweans.

However, the Pakistani challenge came to an end very quickly.

The killer blow came when Nyauchi trapped Imran lbw for a patient and well-constructed 45, which took him 81 balls.

Three runs later Mubasir followed him back to the pavilion, caught by Muzarabani off Williams for 44, which took him 60 balls and contained seven fours.

The score was now 147 for seven wickets, with only the tail-enders left to bat.

It took barely another three overs to take the last three wickets, with Williams, Nyauchi and Muzarabani all getting a share.

The Pakistanis were all out for 156 in 37.3 overs, giving a second victory to the Zimbabwean team.

The two sides will meet in the third one-dayer at the same venue on Sunday.