Malik, Khan lead Pak to narrow win

All-rounder Shoaib Malik and Younis Khan scored half centuries today to lead Pakistan to a narrow three-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the second ODI.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
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All-rounder Shoaib Malik and Younis Khan returned to form with timely half centuries today to lead Pakistan to a narrow three-wicket win over a determined Zimbabwe in the second one-day international. Malik made 80 off 104 balls and Khan scored 77 as Pakistan achieved the 253-run victory target in 48.1 overs for the loss of seven wickets. Man of the match Khan also kept wickets after regular wicketkeeper Moin Khan missed the match due to influenza. Malik and Khan shared 114 runs off 128 balls for the match-winning fifth wicket partnership. Stuart Matsikenyeri brought off a spectacular sliding catch with both hands at long on to end Malik's innings when Pakistan required just 50 more runs for victory. Zimbabwe lost the first game at Multan last Thursday by a massive margin of 144 runs. Shaky start Zimbabwe's new-ball seamer Tinash Panyangara (3-28) mopped up Pakistan's shaky top order batting lineup, reducing the hosts to 48 for three inside the first 10 overs. However, after Panyangara's opening burst, rest of the inexperienced Zimbabwe bowlers struggled. Earlier, Brendan Taylor and Dion Ebrahim struck half centuries against an under-strength Pakistan bowling attack and guided Zimbabwe to a solid 252 for four. Taylor's defiant knock Opening batsman Taylor made a defiant 73 off 122 balls, while Ebrahim scored an unbeaten 71 off 85 deliveries. Captain Tatenda Taibu accelerated the Zimbabwe innings in the last 10 overs with a brisk 46 off 33 balls and hammered three sixes in his 91-run unfinished fourth wicket stand off a mere 65 deliveries with Ebrahim. Pakistan rested speedster Shoaib Akhtar and all-rounder Abdul Razzaq after an easy win in the first game. Regular captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, with a groin injury, also missed today's game. Pakistan backup seamer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan took the wickets of Taylor and Vermeulen in one over, but was hammered for 82 runs off his 10 overs, with Taibu hoisting him for big six over square leg in the last over of the innings. Zimbabwe with two defeats against host Pakistan will meet Sri Lanka in back to back matches on October 9 and October 11 in Rawalpindi. (AP)