Pakistan 244 for 7 in 50 overs (Misbah-ul-Haq 83*, Mohammad Hafeez 70; Tendai Chatara 2-30, Brian Vitori 2-42)
Zimbabwe 246 for 3 in 48.2 overs (Hamilton Masakadza 85, Vusimuzi Sibanda 54, Brendan Taylor 43*, Sean Williams 39*; Saeed Ajmal 2-44)
Zimbabwe won by 7 wickets.
Brendan Taylor and Zimbabwe made history at Harare Sports Club on Tuesday, with their first win over Pakistan in 15 years and the first against a top team since Ocober 2011.
Zimbabwe won the first One-Day International (ODI) match of the Zong Presents the Haier Cup series by seven wickets. It was the 100th ODI played at the home of Zimbabwe cricket.
“The turning point of the match was the opening partnership,” said an ecstatic Zimbabwe coach during the post-match news conference. Andrew Waller was referring to the stand for the first wicket by Hamilton Masakadza and Vusimuzi Sibanda which yielded a sturdy 107 runs for Zimbabwe and was the firm foundation upon which they built their chase.
A typical supportive crowd at HSC cheered the first 100 for Zimbabwe, wildly so because it came with no loss!
Then, in the 23rd over, Sibanda was on 48 runs and Masakadza trailing on 46. The latter would be the first wicket to fall: trapped leg before wicket by Saeed Ajmal in the next over, after adding another six runs. Masakadza would go on to post his 20th ODI half-century and carry through to within 15 runs of converting it when he drove an Ajmal delivery to Misbah-ul-Haq at cover, giving the Pakistani off-spinner his second wicket in his return of two for 44 runs in 10 overs.
Support for Masakadza also came from Taylor (43*) who went on to work with Timycen Maruma (18) and then Sean Williams (39*) to see Zimbabwe home.
Earlier, Taylor had lost the toss – for the first time in this tour having won both calls in the Twenty20 International series.
The tourists chose to bat. Captain Misbah-ul-Haq led from the front with an unbeaten 83 which came off 85 balls, three of them fours and two sixes. His T20I counterpart Mohammad Hafeez chipped in with another run-a-ball effort: 70 runs from 71 balls, before he was caught by Maruma off Tendai Chatara.
The Mountaineers seamer was the pick of the Zimbabwe bowlers, finishing with two wickets for 32 runs in 10 overs. Brian Vitori also claimed a brace in his 10 overs, but for 42 runs. Prosper Utseya got one.
By constantly asking questions of the batsmen towards the end of the Pakistan innings and snatching wickets in the process, the Zimbabwe bowlers ensured that the tourists would not put up what had been feared would be a daunting total.
Zimbabwe comfortably chased down the 244, with 10 balls remaining.