Kandy, March 14 (IANS) A gritty 50 by Craig Ervine enabled Zimbabwe to labour to 151/7 after opting to bat in a rain-hit World Cup Group A game against Pakistan at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Monday.
The Zimbabwe innings was hit twice by showers and eventually ended after 39.4 overs. On the basis of Duckworth-Lewis calculations, Pakistan was given a victory target of 162 from 38 overs.
Ervine, 25, struck his third One-day International 50 and in the process rescued Zimbabwe from a precarious 43/4 after fast bowler Umar Gul had struck twice to dismiss opener Regis Chakabava (0) and Vusi Sibanda (5).
But the key wicket was that of the in-form Brendan Taylor, who fell to medium-pacer Abdul Razzaq in the very first over of the match with the otherwise blundering wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal taking a simple catch.
The Zimbabwean innings was hit by rain at 96/5 in the 28th over and the match had to curtailed to 43 over’s a side encounter.
Ervine put on a 41-run partnership with Gregory Lamb (16) for the fifth wicket and was starting to look dangerous when he was cleaned up by off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez.
Skipper Elton Chigumbura, celebrating his 25th birthday, scored an unbeaten 32 off 46 balls and added 48 off 61 balls for the seventh wicket with Prosper Utseya (18). Umar Gul finished with 3-36.