Kathmandu, March 1: Mohammad Irfan used his height to full effect to take four wickets as Pakistan defended a low total against Zimbabwe to get its World Cup campaign back on track with a 20-run victory on Sunday.
The gamble to drop experienced batsman Younis Khan in favor of Rahat Ali to bolster the bowling attack paid off on the fast, bouncy wicket at the Gabba , after coming under question when Pakistan was restricted in 235-7 after winning the toss and batting. Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (73) and Wahab Riaz (54 not out) ensured a 200-plus total.
The 2.16-meter (7-foot-1) Irfan had Zimbabwe reeling at 22-2 in reply, and returned in his second spell to snuff out a dangerous partnership, finishing with a career-best 4-30. Riaz returned 4-45.
Scores after Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by 20 runs in the Cricket World Cup Pool B match Sunday at the Gabba:
Pakistan 235-7 (Misbah ul-Haq 73, Wahab Riaz 54 not out, Umar Akmal 33; Tendai Chatara 3-35, Sean Williams 2-48) def. Zimbabwe 215 all out in 49.4 overs (Brendan Taylor 50, Elton Chigumbura 35 not out; Mohammad Irfan 4-30, Wahab Riaz 4-45) by 20 runs.