Pakistan seal series with win

Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by 28 runs to clinch the series 3-0 at the Harare Sports Club on Wednesday. Aizaz Cheema took 4/43 to help restrict the hosts to 242 for nine off their 50 overs, after the two openers, Vusi Sibanda (59) and Chamu Chibhabha (61), put on 110 for the first wicket to give the hosts the best platform to chase the 271 required for victory. Earlier, Zimbabwe were set a winning target of 271 runs by Pakistan after containing the tourists' flying start towards the end of innings. Pakistan won the first two internationals and got off to a spectacular start with Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Farhat scoring 32 runs off the first three overs. However on a batsmen friendly pitch Zimbabwe managed to turn the screw and slow Pakistan's run rate, which climaxed at 270 in their 50 overs. Despite their promising start Hafeez and Farhat both mistimed attempts for boundaries and were caught, Hafeez by Malcolm Waller off Brian Vitori for 23 and Farhat by Chamu Chibhabha off Elton Chigumbura for 37. With the score standing at 76-2 and the run rate dropping to about five an over from then on, Zimbabwe held the fort well although Assad Shafiq and Younis Khan put on 97 for the third wicket without undue haste as the score steadily mounted. Shafiq made 51 -- his fifth half-century -- before being stumped by Tatenda Taibu off Ray Price. Taibu fumbled the ball but Shafiq was so far down the wicket he was able to recover. Khan was looking to secure his seventh ODI century but he was caught and bowled Kyle Jarvis with a diving effort for 81. It was his 44th half century in internationals. Zimbabwe had hopes for a breakthrough at that stage and Shoaib Malik only accrued 14 before being caught and bowled by Chigumbura, who made amends for dropping Khan when he was on 56. Misbah ul Haq and Adnan Akmal in his unorthodox fashion moved the scoreboard briskly along to the final 270-5 with 29 and 24 respectively. Apart from a poor start the Zimbabwe bowlers were better than in recent matches, Chigumbura especially tight and successful with 2-36 in nine overs. Zimbabwe need to produce at least a score that comes close to the Pakistan total in order to satisfy their critics, who have been vocal in the last few days. A win would quickly turn their fortunes around -- and their status at this level. Earlier, Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to field.

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