All-round Pakistan hit back to take series

(Cricinfo) – A lot of expectations were heaped on Zimbabwe as they sat on the threshold of a rare series win against a top side, but they couldn’t summon the temperament to beat Pakistan, who came from behind to win the series 2-1. While Zimbabwe’s bowlers did well to restrict Pakistan to a par score of 260, the batsmen failed to put up a fight. Pakistan, in the process got a bogey off their backs by winning their first bilateral series in ten years after the series was levelled (either 1-1 or 2-2) going in to the decider.

The match took place on the backdrop of a payments dispute that threatened a Zimbabwe boycott. The players put the distraction aside to take the field, but the batsmen were nowhere close to competitive despite encouraging signs even in Thursday’s defeat.

Brendan Taylor stuck by his faith that his side was better at chasing by putting Pakistan in to bat. The Pakistan openers, Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad, put on their best stand of the series – 66 – to set the platform for another big score. Pakistan suffered a blow when their in-form batsman, Mohammad Hafeez, hobbled off with a hamstring pull on 12. Hafeez had been Pakistan’s attacking option at the top, but with him unavailable, it was down to Misbah-ul-Haq to shoulder the responsibility.  Shehzad couldn’t replicate the fluency from the two T20s but rather than hit his way into….