Bangalore: Pakistan riding on the all-round efforts of skipper Malik and a fine unbeaten century from Mohd Yousuf coasted to a comfortable seven-wicket win in the fourth ODI (d/n) against Zimbabwe at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad on Wednesday.
Hosts chased down the easy target of 245 on a batting wicket in 47 overs losing three wickets in the process.
Malik (3/55, 88) spun web around Zimb batsmen and returned to share a fine 141-run partnership with the veteran batsman Mohd Yousuf, who remained unconquered on a strokeful 108.
Chasing the victory target Pak started off on a poor note losing the in-form opener Nasir Jamshed in the fifth over of the innings. Nasir (11) flicked Chigumbura straight to the Brent stationed at short fine-leg. Khalid Latif followed his partner soon after making a sedate 19 off 42 balls. Latif's cross batted swipe off Mpofu landed straight into the safe pair of hands of Sean Williams at deep mid-wicket.
The next man in Yousuf joined his skipper in the middle and steered their side to the brink before Malik found short of crease. The duo feasted on an insipid Zimb attack. Yousuf's 111-ball knock was studded with 10 hits to fence and one over it. Malik too matched the Pak run machine stroke-for-stroke sending the red cherry 10 times to the ropes.
Earlier Pak spinners spearheaded by Malik contained hapless tourists to 244. 85-run stand for the third wicket between Taibu (51) and Williams (48) was the highlight of an otherwise lacklustre Zimb batting
It was Malik who broke the defiant stand when he caught Williams off his own bowling, before sending Brendon Taylor (seven) and Taibu back to leave the tourists struggling at 132-5 in the 30th over.
Keith Dabengwa (45 off 32, 3X4s&2X6s) spoiled Malik's figures in the end, taking 19 off the last over to finish with 45 - studded with three boundaries and two sixes.
Taibu managed four boundaries during his 76-ball knock, while Williams hit a six and four boundaries in his innings which lasted 56 deliveries.
Chamu Chibhabha (30) and Elton Chigumbura (24) also chipped in with useful contributions.
Pakistan, who have an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series, gave one-day debuts to opener Khalid Latif and paceman Sohail Khan in the four changes from the line-up of the third match at Multan on Sunday.
Fawad Alam and Sarfraz Ahmed were also included in the side.
Pakistan rested experienced batsman Younis Khan, wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, Yasir Arafat and Salman Butt in an attempt to try out more youngsters.
Zimbabwe, without their injured captain Prosper Utseya for second match in a row, were further depleted after paceman Tawanda Mupariwa sprained his ankle in practice on Tuesday.
Chris Mpofu replaced Mupariwa.
This is Pakistan's 673rd one-day match, surpassing India's world record of playing the most limited over internationals with 672.
Zimbabwe 244 all out in 49.5 overs (Taibu 51, Sean Williams 48, Dabengwa 45, Chibhabha 30; Malik 3 for 55, Kamran Hussain 2 for 32, Sohail Khan 1 for 38) lost to Pakistan 245 for 3 in 47 overs (Mohd Yousuf 108*, Malik 88; Mpofu 1 for 36).