HARARE: Misbah-ul-Haq hit a crucial half-century in his 50th consecutive match as Pakistan’s one-day captain, but saw his side kept in check in the first one-day international against Zimbabwe on Tuesday.
A topsy-turvy innings saw Zimbabwe miss five chances in the field but still hold Pakistan to 244 for seven – a decent but achievable score on a dry Harare Sports Club surface.
Misbah shared in a 99-run stand for the third wicket with Mohammad Hafeez, who made 70, and finished unbeaten on 83 after holding the innings together as Pakistan’s middle and lower order failed to fire.
It could have been far worse for the tourists had Zimbabwe held their catches – both Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad were put down during an opening partnership of 56, while Hafeez was let off on 10 and 55.
Misbah required no such luck in a well-paced knock that saw him go to fifty in 62 balls before opening up towards the end, and his two sixes off Tinashe Panyangara in the final over of the innings ensured that Pakistan had something to bowl at.
Panyangara had been the pick of the Zimbabwean bowlers up until that point, and would have reaped better figures than his none for 38 had it not been for Zimbabwe’s poor catching.
Tendai Chatara was more fortunate in that regard, and took 2 for 32 in his 10 overs. (AFP)