Brisbane, Australia: Wahab Riaz and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq played a lonely hand to keep Pakistan's innings on track Sunday. Batting for almost 43 overs Misbah contributing 73 to a total of 235-7 in a World Cup Pool B match against Zimbabwe.
Wahab Riaz (54 not out) added quick runs at the end, raising his maiden ODI half century on the penultimate ball of the innings.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Misbah arrived in the fourth over with Pakistan reeling at 4-2 after Tendai Chatara (3-35) had dismissed Nasir Jamshed (1) and Ahmed Shehzad (0).
Phase one of Pakistan's gamble to drop experienced batsman Younis Khan in favor of Rahat Ali to bolster the bowling attack seemingly backfired quickly.
Haris Sohail (27), Umar Akmal (33) and Sohail Maqsood (21) contributed but the innings was labored from the start, and Pakistan didn't reach 50 until the 19th over. At the halfway point, Pakistan was 77-3.
And things got worse for Pakistan as it slid to 127-5 in the 34th over when slow left-arm bowler Sean Williams took two wickets within three balls to bowl Akmal and Shahid Afridi, who was out for a second-ball duck on his 35th birthday.
After weathering 121 balls, Misbah was finally out trying to lift the run-rate when he drove Chatara down the ground and was caught just inside the long-on boundary by Sean Williams to make the total 202-7.
Wahab Riaz (54 not out) added quick runs at the end, raising his maiden ODI half century on the penultimate ball of the innings to make Zimbabwe's chase slightly more difficult.
Zimbabwe had a setback of its own when skipper Elton Chigumbura went down in the 24th over chasing a ball toward the boundary and had to leave the field with an apparent left leg injury. Officials said Chigumbura had a quadriceps injury but wanted to bat before having medical scans.
Pakistan's total was its best of the tournament to date following its 224 in 47 overs against India, and its 160 in 39 overs in a 150-run loss to the West Indies — both times chasing.
Zimbabwe hasn't been dismissed in any of its previous three matches for less than the 277 it scored in its opening loss to South Africa, with the bowling department being its biggest problem area.