Clinical Pakistan beat Zimbabwe to make World Cup quarters (Roundup)

March 15th, 2011 - 12:42 am ICT by IANS  

Pallekele (Sri Lanka), March 14 (IANS) Debutant Asad Shafiq’s unbeaten 78 guided Pakistan into the quarterfinals of the World Cup with a seven-wicket win over Zimbabwe in a rain-marred Pool A match at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium here Monday that was decided on the Duckworth-Lewis Method.Needing a win to secure a spot in the World Cup last eight, Pakistan gave a clinical display to restrict Zimbabwe to 151/7 in 39.4 overs in the rain-hit game before reaching a revised victory target (162 in 38) with 23 balls to spare.

Asad Shafiq, who replaced the injured Umar Akmal in the playing eleven, was the star for Pakistan with an unbeaten 78 off 96 balls. Opener Mohammad Hafeez finally ended his lean run with a 65-ball 49.

This is the first time in almost 12 years that Pakistan has won a World Cup match while chasing. The last they did it was against New Zealand in the 1999 World Cup semifinal at the Old Trafford.

Earlier, a gritty 50 by Craig Ervine enabled Zimbabwe to labour to 151/7 after opting to bat first under overcast conditions here. The Zimbabwe innings was hit twice by showers and eventually ended after 39.4 overs.

Ervine, 25, struck his third One-day International 50 and in the process rescued Zimbabwe from a precarious 43/4 after fast bowler Umar Gul had struck twice to dismiss opener Regis Chakabava (0) and Vusi Sibanda (5).

But the key wicket was that of the in-form Brendan Taylor, who fell to medium-pacer Abdul Razzaq in the very first over of the match with the otherwise blundering wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal taking a simple catch.

The Zimbabwean innings was hit by rain at 96-5 in the 28th over and the match had to be curtailed to a 43 overs a side encounter.

Ervine put on a 41-run partnership with Gregory Lamb (16) for the fifth wicket and was starting to look dangerous when he was cleaned up by off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez.

Skipper Elton Chigumbura, celebrating his 25th birthday, scored an unbeaten 32 off 46 balls and added 48 off 61 balls for the seventh wicket with Prosper Utseya (18). Umar Gul finished with 3-36.

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