Pakistan sauntered to win with no trouble at all, giving chase a low score on a batsman favourable pitch at Harare. They won the three match series in their own way as Mohammad Hafeez scored his third ODI century and Imran Farhat came in form as well, in the second match after making his rejoin. The opener partner put on 228, Pakistan’s ever highest opening partnership, to insure an emphasized win.
Zimbabwe’s bowlers, It was a bad day for them, who flushed it to endanger and were unable to base the run-flow. By contrast, Pakistan’s approach limited Zimbabwe to 225 after Brendan Taylor decided to put his side in to bat first. During toss Taylor in reality wanted to bowl, but asked to bat rather, and when he asked if he could inverse his decision, he was refused permission to do so.
With some help on offer for the seam bowlers, Pakistan’s left-arm pair of Sohail Tanvir and Junaid Khan gave little away. Tanvir pulled up apparent movement early on and both bowled around the off stump to deny Zimbabwe easy runs. Their opening pair, Chamu Chibhabha and Vusi Sibanda, gave in to thwarting. Chibhabha was caught at mid-off while trying to go over the top and Sibanda died to the pull.
Junaid continued to impress as his spell went on and made problems with the short ball. After seven overs, he injured his ankle while racing to square leg to field off his own bowling and had to go off, but returned to complete his spell.
Spin was introduced from both ends after 20 overs and Zimbabwe eased into single scoring mode. Zimbabwe scored 52 runs in 10 overs with the bulk of them coming in singles. Masakadza played responsibly, spotting the gaps and doing most of the calling.
Cheema returned to try and break what was becoming a sizeable partnership but he did not succeed.Taylor was caught at third man after upper-cutting a short and wide delivery, and Masakadza was run out by a direct throw from Misbah-ul-Haq. Taibu brought to the crease, Masakadza was encouraged to take on the bowling and smashed the biggest shot of the match, a six that landed in the rugby field.
Ray Price tried his best to contain, but had no support from the other end. Hafeez played aggressively, the pull shot serving him well, while Farhat accumulated. The pair had to take few risks as they were rarely put under any sort of pressure.
Hafeez’s century came with a slog-sweep for six. He then tore into Vitori, smacking him for three fours in his eighth over. Hafeez, fittingly, finished the match off with a trademark pull behind square to win the series for Pakistan.