Pakistan 235 for 7 (Misbah 73, Wahab 54*, Chatara 3-35) beat Zimbabwe 215 (Taylor 50, Irfan 4-30, Wahab 4-45) by 20 runs
FORMER champions Pakistan survived a scare to pull off a dramatic 20-run victory over Zimbabwe and record their first win at the 2015 World Cup.
Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq’s stubborn 73 and a fiery half-century from pace bowler Wahab Riaz helped the 1992 winners recover from 4-2 to reach 235-7.
Brendan Taylor’s 50 looked to have put Zimbabwe on course for a famous win.
But Mohammad Irfan, with career-best one-day international figures of 4-30, and Riaz (4-45) won it for Pakistan.
Riaz became the first Pakistani to score a fifty and take four wickets in the same World Cup match – and only the eighth cricketer to achieve the feat.
And victory was important for Misbah’s men, who, after heavy defeats by India and the West Indies, would have faced an uphill battle to progress to the quarter-finals had they lost again.
“It was really tough because it was a make or break game for us,” said the Pakistan captain. “You can’t believe how happy we are because we were out of the tournament if we’d lost this game.”
Despite a backdrop of fierce criticism from the public and former players back home – and with chief selector Moin Khan forced to return from the World Cup after visiting a casino – Pakistan posted their highest score of the tournament so far, though their innings got off to a wretched start.
Deja vu … Brendan Taylor celebrates as Shahid Afridi is dismissed