Pallekele, March 14: Rain played dampener in Pakistan's match against Zimbabwe at Pallekele. At the moment the downpour hit, the Pakistanis were well and truly on top having reduced Zimbabwe to 96/5 in 27.2 overs. Craig Ervine was the only batsman to make a score of some note at 48 not out and he was being supported by captain Elton Chigumbura who was unbeaten on 3.
The start to Zimbabwe's innings was almost typically horrendous. Brendon Taylor struck seamer Abdul Razzaq for a four, but two balls later was caught behind for the same score. In the end of the following over, Umar Gul trapped Regis Chakabva in front for a duck. Then in 6th over, there was more carnage when Gul had V Sibanda caught at slip for 5.
Craig Ervine and Tatenda Taibu tried to offset some of the pressure by striking two fours each in subsequent overs, but in the 13th over, fast bowler Wahab Riaz had Taibu snapped up by Afridi at mid-off for 19 and Zimbabwe were deeper in trouble at 43/4. Greg Lamb and Ervine brought up Zimbabwe's 50 in the 15th over and pressed ahead.
The two were just settling into a comfortable partnership when a leg spinner from Afridi had Lamb caught and bowled for 16 and the Africans were 84/5 in 23.5 overs. Four overs and 12 runs later, rain stopped play with Ervien not out on 48 and captain Elton Chigumbura keeping him company on 3.