x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Misbah's cautious approach key to Pakistan's series in over Zimbabwe

Pakistan clinched the one-day series against the hosts with a 108-run win in Saturday's third and final match.

Pakistan players walk off the pitch victorious. Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / AP Photo
Pakistan players walk off the pitch victorious. Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / AP Photo

HARARE // Captain Misbah-ul-Haq scored a half-century and effected two crucial run-outs as Pakistan clinched the one-day series against Zimbabwe with a 108-run win in Saturday's third and final match.

Misbah's 67 proved to be the top score in the game as Pakistan posted a total of 260 for six, before bowling Zimbabwe out in 40 overs for 152 to give themselves a 2-1 series success.

Although Misbah at one stage appeared overly cautious in scoring just 16 from his first 45 deliveries, the tactic was vindicated as the stability it provided allowed Pakistan to score 120 in the final 13 overs.

"I was really struggling because the ball wasn't coming onto the bat," said Misbah.

"There was a bit of inconsistent bounce and inconsistent pace, so I just made sure we played all 50 overs and if we could score 250 or more that could be really defendable on this pitch."

Zimbabwe's reply never really got going, and was hampered by run-outs to key batsmen. Captain Brendan Taylor made a promising 26 before Misbah's direct hit accounted for his opposite number, while Sean Williams was also dismissed by the Pakistani skipper.

"We were definitely up for it today and we restricted them to a total that we felt comfortable chasing, but there was maybe a bit of panic there when it was time to chase it down," Taylor said.

"All in all I think we can take a lot of heart out of the series – they came back strong as we expected, but there were definitely a lot of positives we can take away."

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