Zimbabwe shock for Pak; Morgan bails out England

Zimbabwe shock for Pak; Morgan bails out England

Eoin Morgan guided England to a morale-boosting five-wicket win over South Africa in their final warm-up match before the World T20. AP

Flying high after their dramatic one-run win over Australia, the Zimbabweans turned in another excellent performance, recovering with the bat through Elton Chigumbura and then delivering the knockout blow with the ball through off-spinning captain Prosper Utseya (4/15).

Staring down the barrel at 64for five in the 12th over, Zimbabwe appeared for a heavy defeat, but the powerful Chigumbura smashed an unbeaten 49 from 35 deliveries to haul his side to a competitive 143 for seven. Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi finished with four for 24 from his six overs, the lone bright spot for the holders.

Pakistan began well through Kamran Akmal, who smashed 37 from just 27 deliveries, but just like Zimbabwe, they too found themselves in a rut at 67 for five at the halfway stage.

Fawad Alam and Misbah-ul-Haq appeared to have done not just the consolidtation but also settled the issue when they put on 51 in 46 deliveries, but Utseya evicted both in the space of three deliveries as the 2009 champs lost four for six to slump to 124 for nine. Chigumbura picked up the last wicket to finish with three for 16 and round off an excellent day out for himself and Zimbabwe.

At the Kensington Oval in Barbados, the left-handed Eoin Morgan returned to run-scoring ways with a measured 62-ball 63 and help England edge out South Africa in a last-over finish.

Needing just 126 for victory, England were rocked at the start of their chase, being reduced to nine for three in the third over, including the wicket of Kevin Pietersen for a first-ball duck. But Morgan and skipper Paul Collingwood stabilised the innings by adding 71 for the fourth wicket, the former dominating the stand and smashing six fours and two sixes.

At Collingwood’s fall, England needed 46 off the last six overs. Morgan’s dismissal by Juan Theron triggered further nerves before Tim Bresnan and Luke Wright saw them home.

South Africa had found no momentum at all at the start, managing just 27 for two in the first six overs, before handy contributions from Jean-Paul Duminy and Albie Morkel took them to a total of 125 for five, just not enough to stop Morgan and England.

Brief scores: Zimbabwe: 143/7 in 20 overs (Hamilton Masakadza 33, Charles Coventry 30, Elton Chigumbura 49 n.o.; Shahid Afridi 4-24) bt Pakistan: 131 all out in 20 overs (Kamran Akmal 37, Fawad Alam 32; Chris Mpofu 2-19, Elton Chigumbura 3-16, Prosper Utseya 4-15).

South Africa: 125/5 in 20 overs (Jean-Pail Duminy 30 n.o., Albie Morkel 32 n.o.; Michael Yardy 2-25) lt to England: 127/5 in 19.3 overs (Eoin Morgan 63; Rory Kleinveldt 2-22).

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