Pakistan ease to seven-wicket win over Zimbabwe

Bulawayo: Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by seven wickets at Queens Sports Club, getting the winning runs with seven wickets in hand a few minutes before lunch on day five.

They were left needing 88 runs for victory after bundling the home team out for 141 runs in their second innings, although they did lose three wickets in the process.

Having been put into bat by Pakistan captain Misbah ul Haq, Zimbabwe reached 412 all out in their first innings before the tourists replied with 466 all out to establish a first-innings lead of 54.

There was not much in it at that stage but Zimbabwe`s second effort collapsed to 135-8 at the close of the fourth day, leaving the Pakistanis with the prospect of a routine mop-up operation.

Ul Haq said afterwards: "Maybe I was mistaken asking Zimbabwe to bat first. The wicket had green patches. But the bowlers stuck to the task well.”

"Our batting to follow was excellent, of good quality. I am proud of the youngsters, especially Aizaz Cheema, who took eight wickets in the match.”

"Zimbabwe are a good side and they will improve with experience and become a strong force in the game I`m sure."

Man of the match was Pakistan`s Mohammad Hafeez, who scored 119 and took four wickets for 31.

With one more wicket he would have recorded a `viper` in cricket terms -- a century plus five wickets in an innings -- but he did not get a bowl in the final session.


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