Price brilliance not enough to save Zimbabwe

Posted by admin on January 24, 2008

Despite a late charge by the Zimbabweans, when they forced Pakistan to a required run rate of 5 an over, the team was exposed by a lack of bowling depth. Prosper Utseya injured his hamstring batting and was unable to bowl. His participation in the rest of the series is now in doubt. With the captain off the field, Tatenda Taibu capained the team for a period, as did Gary Brent, the regular vice captain. Stranger still, Hamilton Masakadza spoke to the media after the match.

Ray Price was the pick of the bowlers. He was simply on fire today, essentially taking 3 wickets. One was a run out, when the batsman Nasir Jamshed defended down the pitch, Price picked up the ball and threw it back at the stumps with Jamshed caught out of his crease. Several balls later Sibanda initiated one of the best run outs you are likely to see, diving from square leg and releasing the ball across his body as his body was horizontal, Younis Khan the victim.

While those didn't count against his name, Price had Shoaib Malik stumped by Tatenda Taibu. In all, Price's 10 overs went for just 21 runs, giving him figures of 1/21 from 10 overs.

Gary Brent ended with reasonable figures too, 0/46, even if he didn't take wickets.

Elton Chigumbura took 1/56 from 9 overs, while Hamilton Masakadza took 1/42 from 8. Masakadza, Chibhabha and Williams had to bowl a lot of overs without Utseya's usual 10 overs.

At 5/178, after Brendan Taylor caught a skied ball of Misbah-ul-Haq, chances of a Zimbabwean upset were growing. However, that didn't last long, as Shahid Afridi blasted the home team to victory.

Zimbabwean innings: Despite losing the early wickets of Vusi Sibanda (9) and Chamu Chibhabha (0), Zimbabwean batsmen Tatenda Taibu and Hamilton Masakadza built a massive partnership of 137 runs to leave the team at 3/156.

Masakadza looked comfortable throughout his entire innings, scoring boundaries (10 in total) with ease. He was bowled by Shahid Afridi on 87. Taibu went on to score 81, but struggled to get singles after Masakadza's dismissal. Brendan Taylor was the other batsman who looked good. He made 26, including one massive 6 straight down the ground. In the final 10 overs, Taylor went for the slog but mistimed it and was caught on the offside.

Taibu fell attempting a cut but edging it to the keeper Kamran Akmal.

The middle order struggled badly, with Chigumbura, Williams and Matsikenyeri adding just 1, 3 and 1 respectively. When Chigumbura was dismissed in the deep Zimbabwe were exposed for their lack of big hitting batsmen. Gary Brent scored 2 boundaries in the final over to add some more substance to the scoreline.

Unfortunately, only 45 runs were added in the final 10 overs, meaning Zimbabwe managed just 8/238 when 270+ was on the cards midway through the innings.