Pakistan has its first 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup win after beating Zimbabwe by 20 runs in Brisbane on Sunday
night as Mohammad Irfan picked up four wickets. The Pakistanis started badly as both openers were removed by Tendai Chatara and they were 5/2 after 5 overs. Sikandar Raza dismissed Haris Sohail for 27 after a 54 run partnership with Misbah-Ul-Haq after 20.1 overs as they were struggling at 58/3.
Umar Akmal joined Misbah as they were looking to build a solid partnership but just before the batting powerplay, Sean Williams broke the partnership of 69 runs as he removed Akmal for 33 and two balls later he removed Shahid Afridi for a duck as Pakistan were 127/5 after 34 overs. Tawanda Mupariwa removed Sohaib Maqsood for 21 as Pakistan continued to lose wickets in crucial times and were 155/6 after 38.2 overs. Chatara picked up his third wicket when he removed Misbah for a hard fought 72 but Wahab Riaz’s quick fire 54 off 46 balls pushed the Asian side to 235/7 after 50 overs.
The Zimbabweans needed 236 runs to win but Mohammed Irfan had other ideas as he removed Chamu Chibhabha for 9 after 4.4 overs. The giant Pakistani picked up his second wicket and removed Raza for 8 as Zimbabwe were 22/2 after 6.4 overs. The Africans were 72/2 after 20 overs as Brendon Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza continued to build a solid partnership.
Irfan was brought back by his captain and made an immediate impact as he removed Masakadza for 29 after a 52 run partnership. Riaz next removed Taylor for 50 after a threatening partnership with Williams and it was game on at 128/4. After a drinks break Rahat Ali picked up the wicket of Williams for 33 when he was caught by Ahmed Shehzad at backward point.
Irfan picked up his fourth wicket as he removed Solomon Mire for 8 and Zimbabwe were in trouble at 166/6 after 36.4 overs. The 1992 champions continued to pick up wickets with Riaz on fire picking up the two wickets of Craig Ervine for 14 and Mupariwa for a duck as they slumped to 171/8 after 40 overs. Elton Chigumbura was Zimbabwe’s last hope alongside Tinashe Panyangara as they frustrated the bowlers and came to within a glimmer of hope needing 34 off 24 balls.
However Irfan finished with career-best figures of 4/30 and it was just too much for the Zimbabweans as Pakistan managed to win by 20 runs and record its first win of the tournament.