Zimbabwe hand Pakistan huge upset

THE ICC T20 Men’s World Cup has seen a massive boilover in Perth, with Zimbabwe claiming a thrilling one-run win over the powerhouse Pakistan on Thursday night.

It was a result that few predicted, with the Pakistanis now in danger of an early exit after sustaining a second consecutive loss, after Sunday night’s heartbreaker against India.

Zimbabwe looked dead and buried for all accounts after managing such a small total in the first innings of the match. However, their bowlers produced one of the most memorable performances of the tournament so far, suffocating Pakistan into falling short of the total by an agonising margin.

The win sees Zimbabwe sit in third spot of Group 2, and will be looking to move past South Africa, as only the top two make the semi-finals.

Pakistan (8/129) def. by Zimbabwe (8/130)

Zimbabwe won the toss and opted to bat first, and their openers got off to a reasonable start, with Wesley Madhevere and Craig Ervine both reaching 15 runs in no time as they looked to conquer a tricky Perth pitch. However, the partnership was broken soon after, as both were dismissed for less than 20. Sean Williams came in at four and gave the batting order some life with a 31-run knock, while Brad Evans came in and delivered 19 runs at the tail end.

Apart from those two, no Zimbabwe batter was able to register more than 10 runs as the lineup collapsed, with Mohammad Wasim tearing through with four wickets for the opposition. They managed to scrape to 130 runs, which seemed far from defendable against a talented and experienced Pakistan side.

The recent form woes continued for Pakistan opener Babar Azam, who was dismissed cheaply again, managing just four runs from nine balls. However, Shan Masood came in at three and steadied the ship in a big way, compiling 44 runs from 39 balls.

While the Pakistan batsmen were able to put some runs on the board, they did not come at a winning rate, with the Zimbabwe bowling attack forcing them to defend and producing plenty of dot balls. While they may have looked comfortable earlier in the innings, Pakistan was running out of time to get the required run total. It came down to the final over, but the Pakistanis were unable to conjure the runs and fell. They are now sitting in fifth spot and will find it tough to make the finals given their current losing streak.

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