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Pakistan won by 7 wickets. (Revised target - Duckworth-Lewis system)

Pakistan vs Zimbabwe

Pakistan reign in Pallekele

Shafiq stars with unbeaten 78 after shower cut short Zimbabwe's innings

Shafiq: starred with unbeaten 78 as Pakistan cruised to victory

Ervine: hit a half-century in Zimbabwe's 151-7

Pakistan comfortably defeated Zimbabwe by seven wickets in a rain-hit Group A game to book their place in the last eight of the World Cup.

Asked to chase a target revised to 162 in 38 overs by the Duckworth-Lewis method, Pakistan cruised home with 23 balls to spare thanks an unbeaten 78 from Asad Shafiq, who was playing his first game in the tournament.

Mohammad Hafeez weighed in with 49 to help his side join Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka in reaching the quarter-finals from the group.

Zimbabwe had got to 151-7 from 39.4 overs when a second break for bad weather ended their innings early, Craig Ervine top-scoring with 52.

In hindsight, skipper Elton Chigumbura, celebrating his 25th birthday, may regret his decision to bat first after winning the toss.

The mandatory first powerplay saw ball dominate bat, opener Brendan Rogers falling in the very first over as he was dismissed by Abdul Razzaq.

Umar Gul (3-36) then quickly removed Regis Chakabva and Vusi Sibanda to leave Zimbabwe in early trouble and when Tatenda Taibu fell to Wahab Riaz, selected in place of the resting Shoaib Akhtar, the scoreboard read 43-4.

Stabilising role

Ervine - who was dropped by Misbah-ul-Haq when on 13 - helped stabilise the innings with a 41-run partnership with Greg Lamb (16).

Spin, though, proved the undoing of both batsmen; Lamb hit a return catch back to Shahid Afridi and after a delay of over 100 minutes, Ervine was bowled by off-spinner Hafeez playing back to a delivery that he should have come forward to.

Chigumbura had reached 32 not out, adding 48 with Prosper Utseya (18), by which time the heavens opened again to end the innings prematurely.

Even with their task being made a little tougher by the Duckworth-Lewis formula, Pakistan still had no need to be overly aggressive with the bat.

After losing opener Ahmed Shehzad for just eight, Hafeez and Shafiq took the score serenely along to 99 before the former was caught at first slip by Ray Price off the bowling of fellow spinner Utseya.

Afridi promoted himself up the order but was quickly bowled by Price (2-21) for just three, leaving Shafiq to steadily guide the team home.

Younis Khan, who finished up unbeaten on 13, kept the youngster company as Pakistan cantered over the finishing line, ending Zimbabwe's qualification hopes and leaving the top four battling it out for final positions in the group.

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Match Details

Date
14th Mar 2011
Toss
Venue
Kandy
Umpires
A L Hill and N J Llong

pakistan BATTING CARD

Batsman R
Hafeez c Price b Utseya 49
Shehzad st Taibu b Price 8
Shafiq not out 78
Afridi b Price 3
Khan not out 13
Extras 13w 13
Total Close, 34.1 Overs 164 - 3
Full Batting Card

zimbabwe BOWLING CARD

Bowler O M R W
Masakadza 6 1 44 0
Price 8 1 21 2
Utseya 7 1 24 1
Lamb 7 0 44 0
Cremer 6.1 0 31 0
Full Bowling Card