Zimbabwe Select Get Big Victory Over Pakistan Shaheens in Fourth ODI With Classy Centuries From Gumbie and Ervine


Zimbabwe Select sealed a convincing, massive 7-wicket victory win over Pakistan Shaheens in the 4th ODI at Harare Sports Club with classy, brilliant century knocks from Craig Ervine (161) and Joylord Gumbie (111).

Zimbabwe Select national cricket team beats Pakistan Shaheens by 7 wickets at Harare Sports club in fourth odi by centuries from Joylord Gumbie and Craig Ervine
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The huge win gives Zimbabwe Select an unbeatable 3-1 series lead with two more One Day Internationals (ODIs) to go at Harare Sports Club. And it is also a significant confidence and morale booster ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier Zimbabwe 2023 that commences on 18 June 2023.  

The solidly prolific partnership between Joylord Gumbie and Craig Ervine resulted in the batsmen posting a mammoth 277 for the second wicket.

Zimbabwe Select captain Wellington Masakadza won the toss for the first time in this series and elected to bowl first. Pakistan ‘A’ posted a gigantic target as they reached 295 runs, batting throughout all their 50 overs.

The batting highlight for Pakistan Shaheens was Omair Yousuf who scored 153 runs, followed by Kamran Ghulam with 55 and Haseebullah Khan with 22 runs.

Opening for Pakistan Shaheens were Muhammad Hurraira who scored 17 and Haseebullah Khan. The partnership, which scored 29 in seven overs, was dismantled by the sharp bowling of Blessing Muzarabani who bowled out the menacing Hurraira.

With the fall of Hurraira, Zimbabwe Select soon found themselves at the mercy of Yousuf’s fecundity, whose immensely fruitful batting went on to dominate the rest of the innings as he scored 153.

Zimbabwe Select had initially felt comfortable when the Shaheens were 55-3 in the 14th over, but when Kamran Ghulam (55) joined Yousuf, the match swung into Pakistan’s favour. Ghulam was later dismissed by Zimbabwe Select skipper Wellington Masakadza — having scored 55 off 79 balls.

As Yousuf continued his mastery with the bat, giving all Zimbabwe Select bowlers torrid times, his partners fell off easily — most of them lost wickets by succumbing to to the pressure of hitting out for quick runs.

Qasim Akram, who scored 57 (not out) in the previous 3rd ODI — which Pakistan Shaheens won narrowly by 5 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method as bad light ruined a thrilling showdown — struggled as he was caught off Brad Evans’ delivery in the 49th over. He only managed to score 16.

The highlight for Zimbabwe’s bowling — a bowling attack that has produced beautiful displays of pure cricketing masterclass in the previous three ODIs, in which Zimbabwe Select won the first two — was Brad Evans with figures of 5/62. He redeemed his stock as compared to the first ODI in which his bowling was lukewarm.

Wellington Masakadza claimed 2 wickets at a cost of 45 runs, while Blessing Muzarabani got 1 wicket for 45 runs. Masakadza was the most economical bowler in the fourth ODI.

Notwithstanding claiming a single wicket in the fourth ODI, Blessing Muzarabani has been in good form; as he won Player of the Match award in the second ODI, a match he starred with both bat (he scored 50 runs) and ball (4/23),  powering Zim Select towards securing a big 80-run victory in that match.

Tendai Chatara, who scored achieved a five-wicket haul in the first ODI, was rested in the fourth ODI. (In the third ODI that Zim Select lost, Chatara bowled brilliantly, with brilliant figures of 4/53.)

Zimbabwe Select’s batting innings got off with a shaky start as Tadiwanashe Marumani was quickly dismissed in the second over off the delivery of Shahnawaz Dahani. Marumani had only scored one boundary.

Joylord Gumbie and Craig Ervine began to restore the foundation of Zim Select’s innings steadily, as they were acutely aware of the huge target they had to surmount.

With a conflation of quick runs and boundaries, Ervine and Gumbie ensured a convincing accumulation of scores for the hosts. In the previous third ODI, Gumbie was dismissed for a single run, and he was out to vindicate his gameplay in the fourth ODI.

Both scored their 50s at around the same time; Gumbie scored his first 50 after facing 63 balls, and Ervine reached his half-century score after 65 balls (for Ervine, this was after a wicket scare when he was dropped by Amir).

After their 100-run partnership, with the ship now sailing smoothly, Ervine started to hit out with blistering intent, and he scored a classy century after 99 deliveries. Gumbie had been left behind, but with the full command and mastery of his partner, the new star also hastened to his century that was achieved off 112 balls.

It was the first List A century for Gumbie. With victory in near sight, Ervine soon scored 150 runs, elegantly sipping from his wealth of experience.

Ervine was soon dismissed for 161 (off 144 balls), and Gumbie soon fell off after scoring 111 (off 124 balls). Ervine’s knock included three sixes and 19 fours. Gumbie’s 111 included 10 fours.

The 277-run partnership for the second wicket was two runs short of breaking the Zimbabwe List A record — “an unbroken 279 by Andy and Grant Flower for the third wicket for Mashonaland against Midlands at Kwekwe in 2002/03”.

With Ervine and Gumbie out, Zim Select only needed 11 runs to secure a big victory when Wessly Madhevere and Milton Shumba were tasked with finishing off the match. They were only left with five overs, with threats of bad light looming large over them.

They played cautiously, and Madhevere’s boundary that flew over the wicket-keeper’s head won the match for Zimbabwe Select with 2.3 overs remaining.

Captain Wellington Masakadza commended his bowling squad for their assailing play, despite giving Pakistan Shaheens a competitive total of 295. He however highlighted that Zim Select succumbed to a couple of mis-fields. The skipper also lauded Joylord Gumbie’s century, and highlighted the team’s positive and exciting morale in all this.

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