Super Six Stage: Pakistan v Zimbabwe|
The Oval - 11 June 1999
CricInfo report by John Ward
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Live Scorecard | Full Preview | Teams and Toss | Pakistan Innings: 5 overs | 18 | 25 | 35 | 39 | 45 | 50
Zimbabwe Innings: 5 overs | 10 | 15 | 25 | 31 | 40 | End
Pakistan 271-9, Zimbabwe 123. Pakistan won by 148 runs (18.06 BST)
Zimbabwe suddenly decided to yield to a deathwish as first of all Olonga over-reached himself, advancing down the pitch to Saqlain in an attempt to hit him out of the ground, missed and was easily stumped for 5, then Huckle, well known for first-ball dismissals, did exactly the same thing with exactly the same result. Zimbabwe slumped in a hurry to 123 for nine.
Finally Mbangwa, prodding forward, was adjudged lbw to give Saqlain the gift of a hat-trick, and Zimbabwe an ignominious defeat. This was only the second hat-trick in a World Cup match, the first being by Chetan Sharma for India against Sri Lanka in 1987/88. It must be conceded that Saqlain could hardly have found any easier victims, and the first two at least could hardly have been more co-operative.
Pakistan 271-9, Zimbabwe 123-7 (Streak 16*, Olonga 5*) off 40 overs (17.56 BST)
An amusing incident took place when a yorker from Shoaib thudded into Strang's pads, knocking him over and forward as he tried to evade it. He just regained his crease as the throw-in hit the stumps, and the batsmen managed to take two runs from the rebound. Next ball, though, he slashed and was brilliantly caught one-handed in the gully by Azhar for 5. Zimbabwe were now 110 for seven, with only their trio of number-eleven batsmen to come.
Shoaib continually beat Olonga outside the off stump, but was unable to zone in on the stumps. The policy now seemed to be to stay there and reduce the deficit by as much as possible, but in such a dire situation significant progress was unlikely. Streak began to look solid, but was unable to do much more than put the ball away for singles.
Pakistan 271-9, Zimbabwe 100-6 (Streak 6*, Strang 1*) off 31 overs (17.17 BST)
Whittall had been batting well when he played a weak stroke outside off stump to Azhar and snicked a straight-forward catch to Inzamam at slip. He scored 16, and Zimbabwe were now 83 for five.
Johnson struggled on the verge of his fifty, but eventually scampered a quick run from a push into the covers to reach the landmark. He was not to last much longer, as Azhar brought a ball back from wide of the crease to hit him on the front pad as he played well forward, and umpire Bucknor took his usual eternity to decide this was out lbw. He made 54, standing alone among the ruins of another grossly under-productive Zimbabwean innings, and the total was now 95 for six.
All-rounders Streak and Strang were now at the crease, with three rank tail-enders to come. Wasim brought back Shoaib in an attempt to bring the match to a quick conclusion. Streak struggled to stay there, but eventually lunged and took a four past point. Strang then brought up the hundred with a push to mid-off for a single.
Pakistan 271/9, Zimbabwe 77/4 (Johnson 48*, Whittall 11*) off 25 overs (16.50 BST)
Campbell threw away his wicket and most of Zimbabwe's remaining hopes with a soft dismissal that he rued all too late, going for a big hit off Abdur and skying a catch straight to Wasim at wide mid-on. He made 3, and Zimbabwe were now really on the slide at 50 for three.
Johnson continued to ride his luck, the sort of luck some of his team-mates were not getting, when he drove at Abdur and the resulting bottom edge shot through to the boundary just past the keeper - and his stumps. But he adopted a more cautious approach as he neared his fifty, although he was nearly run out when he slipped and fell after Whittall declined a sharp single. Whittall himself played a sensible innings, taking runs as they came without any heroics until he suddenly darted down the pitch and hit Azhar straight for four.
Pakistan 271-9, Zimbabwe 50-3 (Johnson 33*, Campbell 3*) off 15 overs (16.12 BST)
Johnson continued to dominate while his partners struggled, cutting Wasim fine for four and Abdur squarer for the same result. He was willing to throw his bat at everything outside off stump, and at times was fortunate not to find the edge. Saqlain replaced Wasim, and the batsmen began to get bat on ball more readily. But Andy Flower's luck did not last, as he played back to a ball from Abdur with a slightly angled bat, to play it on to his stumps via the inside edge and thigh pad. Three successive batsmen had departed for a total of just ten runs between them. Campbell got going with a glided stroke for two to third man off Saqlain, but Zimbabwe had a long way to go.
Pakistan 271-9, Zimbabwe 28-2 (Johnson 19*, A Flower 0*) off 10 overs (15.50 BST)
Shoaib soon proved too much for the out-of-form Flower, yorking him middle and off stump for 2, making Zimbabwe 12 for one. Goodwin just managed to chop down on his first ball, edging it through to the keeper not far from his stumps. It was a continual battle for survival by the two batsmen against superb bowling, with both Wasim and Shoaib pulling out all the stops in an attempt to shatter the Zimbabwe innings beyond repair.
Johnson managed to drive straight for two a delivery from Shoaib timed at 93 mph, but otherwise most of the runs came behind the wicket. Against Wasim he gained a fortuitous boundary when an attempted cut came off the bottom edge and just eluded the keeper. Goodwin, though, was always struggling, and when Abdur Razzaq replaced Shoaib pulled a ball directly to Shahid at short midwicket. He made 4, and Zimbabwe were 28 for two.
Pakistan 271-9, Zimbabwe 11-0 (Johnson 9*, G Flower 2*) off 5 overs (15.24 BST)
Zimbabwe were to face only 49 overs due to their slow over rate during the Pakistani innings, one of several bad habits they have picked up since gaining Test status. Johnson quickly opened their scoring with an elegant four through extra cover off Wasim, but it was Shoaib that the Pakistani supporters really wanted to see bowl, roaring him up to the wicket with every delivery. His first ball struck Johnson on the shoulder and bounced high into the air, to be caught behind square leg, which led the Pakistanis to try to convince the umpire he was out. The rest of the over was better pitched, and Johnson handled it reasonably capably, taking a single off the last ball.
Flower had more difficulty in Shoaib's next over, especially against the short lifter, with deliveries timed at more than 90 miles an hour, until he cut the final ball down to third man, where Inzamam's fumble turned a single into two. Wasim then had Johnson sparring and missing outside off stump, before turning a ball past midwicket for two.
Pakistan 271-9 (Saqlain 17*, Shoaib 1*) off 50 overs (14.28 BST)
Zimbabwe for once had the situation briefly under control as Shahid and Saqlain had to content themselves with ones and twos, unable to pierce the field. Strang returned, to bowl defensively round the wicket, but Shahid finally got hold of him and hoisted him for six over long on, which also brought up the 250, then flicked Olonga, replacing Streak after he finished his ration, to long-leg for four. Next ball he tried another big hit, inside out, but holed out to Johnson running round from extra cover. He had hit 37, and Pakistan were now 260 for nine. Some scrambled runs, mainly to Saqlain, brought the innings to an end, but neither batsman managed to reach the boundary.
Pakistan 236/8 (Shahid 22*, Saqlain 1*) off 45 overs (14.10 BST)
Shahid soon launched his innings with an incredible six off Streak, hit into the crowd over the long boundary behind cover. Otherwise the deep-set field and high-quality boundary fielders kept fours down to a minimum. Moin escaped a run-out, though, when Streak fumbled an awkwardly bouncing return from Mbangwa as the batsmen decided to chance a second run, after which he enjoyed another lucky escape as he lobbed a ball over midwicket and Campbell running back just failed to reach the catch. But this time it was third time lucky for Zimbabwe, as he played a ball to Grant Flower at short third man - or deep slip - and set off for a run; sent back, he was narrowly beaten by a superb direct hit on the stumps. He made 13, and Pakistan were 228 for six.
Azhar was next to go, snicking Streak to Andy Flower behind the stumps for 2, and Abdur played on to a yorker first ball. Suddenly, at 232 for eight, Pakistan had lost much of their advantage. The hat-trick ball was another attempted yorker, hitting Saqlain on the pad but perhaps just going down the leg side, but the umpire was not required to adjudge that one as he had already called no-ball.
Pakistan 195/5 (Moin 1*, Shahid 0*) off 39 overs (13.40 BST)
Strang did the trick, as he lured Inzamam out of his crease and had him stumped by Andy Flower, although the replay appeared to show some doubt as to whether he had taken the ball cleanly enough. Inzamam had made 21, and Pakistan were 183 for three.
Saeed reached a superb century, despite his lucky escapes, with a cover-driven four off Olonga, who returned but was as erratic as ever. In the same over, trying to pull, he hit a huge skyer off the top edge to be picked up by the keeper running back behind the slip position. He had made 103, and Pakistan were 194 for four, and having to rebuild with two batsmen still to score. Wasim never did, trying to sweep a top-spinner from Huckle and being hit on the back leg to be given out lbw second ball, with the score on 195.
Pakistan 180/2 (Saeed 93*, Inzamam 19*) off 35 overs (13.20 BST)
Pakistan continued the run chase, the highlight being a superb pulled six by Saeed off Whittall. The Zimbabwe bowlers though proved most erratic, with even the spinners finding it difficult to bowl a line, and the batsmen climbed in. Grant Flower, whose accuracy in the past made him a valuable container, was also badly off line to start with and Saeed made him suffer. Inzamam was next to enjoy a lucky escape, playing a ball from Huckle off the back foot on to his pads and almost on to his wicket. Strang took over from Grant Flower after an unsuccessful two overs and bowled with more accuracy, but there were signs that Zimbabwe were beginning to flag in the field after doing so well earlier, as their chances of victory slipped ever further away.
Pakistan 130/2 (Saeed 60*, Inzamam 9*) off 25 overs (12.45 BST)
Whittall beat the groping Wasti outside the off stump, but the umpire decided he had not hit the ball in response top an almost lone appeal by the keeper. However Zimbabwe's luck finally turned as a thick-edged slash was well picked up by Huckle running round from third man, and Wasti was out for 40, with Pakistan on 95 for one.
Saeed ran to his fifty and Ijaz pulled his first ball from Olonga through midwicket for three. Huckle replaced Whittall, who changed ends with Olonga proving erratic, but it was yet another of Pakistan's foolish run-outs that did the trick, as Ijaz played the ball to midwicket and kept going while Saeed turned back. Goodwin had no problem in returning the ball to the keeper and Ijaz was out for 5; Pakistan were 116 for two.
In came Inzamam, for once innocent of a mid-pitch mix-up. Huckle made a fine save at long leg as a lofted pull from Inzamam appeared to be going over the boundary. Umpire Bucknor rejected an appeal for a catch at the wicket by Saeed when 59 off Whittall.
Pakistan 92-0 (Saeed 43*, Wasti 40*) off 18 overs (12.09 BST)
Zimbabwe suffered disappointment in Mbangwa's next over, as Saeed, head in the air, drove recklessly at a ball moving away and was lucky to avoid getting a touch. Saeed then pulled Streak thunderously to the midwicket boundary, which really had the crowd taking off with excitement. Streak then beat him twice in the over, but Saeed remained quite unfazed. But Zimbabwe missed a golden opportunity when, on 18, he slashed Mbangwa hard but straight to Campbell at slip, and the catch went down.
Saeed continued to ride his luck, while Wasti recorded his first boundary with a leg glance off Streak that Mbangwa tried valiantly to stop. In Streak's next over he edged another boundary just wide of Johnson diving at second slip. At this point fortune was certainly favouring the brave. Another wide from Streak brought up Pakistan's fifty. Wasti began to catch up on Saeed, hammering Streak through the covers for four; he was now on 21 to Saeed's 26.
Whittall replaced Streak at the Vauxhall End, and tight fielding helped to keep Saeed tied down, before he flashed and missed again at the final ball. Wasti played a false stroke against Mbangwa, hanging his bat out to lob the ball just short of third man, and then Saeed skyed a ball over the covers, just too far for either mid-off or extra cover to reach. It certainly didn't appear to be Zimbabwe's day. To rub salt into the wound, Wasti then hooked Whittall over long leg for six; two balls later he poked outside off stump and missed again; next ball he nudged in the air through the vacant second slip position to the boundary, overtaking Saeed, then cracked a four through extra cover, leaving Zimbabwe wondering just what would go wrong next.
Olonga finally came on to bowl the eighteenth over, with the total now on 84. An uppish leg glance by Saeed just passed the diving keeper on its way to the boundary, and Saeed went into the forties for the first time this tournament.
Pakistan 23-0 (Saeed 14*, Wasti 4*) off 5 overs (11.10 BST)
With Johnson unfit to bowl, Streak bowled the first over for Zimbabwe, and predictably bowled two wides. Zimbabwe also missed a possible run-out as Olonga's throw from mid-on missed the stumps at the bowler's end as Saeed raced through for a chancy single; a direct hit would have required a photo finish. Mbangwa took the next over, and was pulled by Saeed over midwicket for a stroke only inches short of a six and then driven for four through the covers.
Saeed in particular appeared to be in fine form and constantly kept the score moving with ones and twos. Wasti, uncertain of his place in the team, was rather more circumspect. Streak's third over was a good one, forcing Saeed to guard his wicket with care and almost taking the edge to the keeper with the final delivery.
The Oval, pre-match (10.35 BST)
Wasim Akram won the toss and decided to bat for Pakistan on an overcast day at The Oval. The pitch looked good for batting, and the decision was greeted with much enthusiasm by Pakistani supporters.
Zimbabwe coach Dave Houghton said that Zimbabwe would have put Pakistan in had they won the toss. "If we were just playing for two points we would have batted first," he said. "But we also have to take run rates into account, and batting second is the best way to increase that."
The teams were as follows:
Pakistan: Saeed Anwar, Wajahatullah Wasti, Abdur Razzaq, Ijaz Ahmed, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Azhar Mahmood, Moin Khan, Wasim Akram (capt), Saqlain Mushtaq, Shoaib Akhtar.
Zimbabwe: Neil Johnson, Grant Flower, Murray Goodwin, Andy Flower, Alistair Campbell (capt), Guy Whittall, Heath Streak, Paul Strang, Adam Huckle, Henry Olonga, Pommie Mbangwa.
Neil Johnson was still suffering from a groin strain, and Zimbabwe were forced to play him as a batsman only. They strengthened their bowling by bringing in Huckle and Mbangwa, with Viljoen and Andrew Whittall dropping out. So for the first time this tournament Zimbabwe played both leg-spinners.
Pakistan made just one change, bringing in Wasti to open the innings and dropping Shahid to the middle order. The veteran Saleem Malik was the player to lose his place.