MI coach Shane Bond credits bowlers for hard-fought success; lauds highly-talented DC squad
20 Apr 2021
Zimbabwe opener Wesley Madhevere, till the time he was in the middle, has his and team’s hopes high about chasing down Pakistan’s 165 in the 20 overs to win the series decider at the Harare Sports Club in Harare. However, it wasn’t to be as a fine spell of bowling from Hasan Ali ensured that the Chevrons remained 34 short of the target as Pakistan completed a 2-1 series victory with the win the third and final game.
Chasing 166, Zimbabwe started well with the opening pair adding a quick 37 for the first wicket. It was followed by a 51 ball 65 runs stand for the second wicket between Madhevere and youngster Tadiwanashe Marumani. However, once Marumani was removed by Mohammad Hasnain, it didn’t take much time for Hasan Ali to wreak havoc, removing first the settled Madhevere and then wicket-keeper batsman Regis Chakabva to let Zimbabwe reel at 110-4 with 56 needed from 25 balls.
It became increasingly difficult for the men in red to go for the target as wickets fell at regular intervals. The team could only get up to 141 at the loss of seven wickets in their full quota of 20 overs thanks to 20 run innings from Brendon Taylor.
Apart from Ali’s four wickets, Haris Rauf removed two men as well while one wicket was taken by Hasnain.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam won the toss and decided to bat first. Babar, on his way to 46 balls 52, became the fastest batsman to reach 2000 T20I runs, taking only 52 innings to reach the milestone, four less than Indian skipper Virat Kohli. However, it was once again Mohammad Rizwan’s 60 balls 91 that pushed Pakistan to 165 in 20 overs.
Luke Jongwe, who picked up all three wickets that fell in the Pakistan innings was the pick of the bowlers for Zimbabwe. The 26-year-old all-rounder finished with nine wickets in the entire tournament, the most for any bowler from both sides.
While Hasan Ali won the Man of the Match award for his 4-18 match-winning performance, Mohmmad Rizwan was declared Man of the Series for his historic 186 runs in the tournament at an average of 186.