Patron's XI v Zimbabweans, Karachi, 4th day

Friday, January 18, 2008

Patron's XI 479 for 6 dec (Jamshed 182, Naumanullah 86, Alam 82*, Price 4-130) beat Zimbabweans 209 (Taylor 64, Taibu 46, Afridi 4-37) and 236 (Maruma 71, Masakadza 44, Samiullah 5-42) by an innings and 34 runs

Samiullah Khan captured five wickets - including his 200th first-class scalp - to send the Zimbabweans crashing to an innings-and-34-run defeat. Although Timycen Maruma scored an entertaining 71 off 101 deliveries while sharing a 96-run eighth-wicket partnership with Gary Brent, it was always a huge task for the Zimbabwean tail to make the Patron's XI bat again on a slowing pitch.

After capturing three wickets yesterday, Samiullah was on target straight away as he dismissed Elton Chigumbura leg-before in only his second over of the day. Dropped twice by Sarfraz Ahmed off Sohail Khan, Maruma played his shots without fear. An overpitching and off-colour Kamran Hussain was edged between the slips and gully for four before Yasir Shah, the legspinner, was hit over mid-off for four. Although streaky at times, Maruma, who was ably supported by Brent's solid defence, then attacked Sohail as he returned for a second spell with the new ball.

Sohail was driven past mid-on before being blasted past extra cover by Maruma to reach his first first-class half-century. The next over saw another drive over extracover before a wild slash brought about the second drop. Riding his luck, and taking advantage of Pakistan's poor fielding as a few overthrows complemented the dropped catches, Maruma took his side past the 200-mark, a psychological achievement if nothing else before the ODI series.

Shahid Afridi, bringing himself on after the lunch interval, produced a flighted delivery that spun and took the outside edge of Maruma's bat to end a fine partnership. Striking eight fours in all, Maruma, not only managed to make the home side pay for some sloppy fielding, but also get a bit of confidence under his belt prior to the one-dayers.

Afridi managed to deceive Brent with a slower delivery - bowled off his glove - before being hammered by Ray Price for a six that landed outside the ground. Samiullah returned to pick the final wicket and inflict the innings defeat. Bowling with pace and troubling the right-hand batsmen with his in-swing, four of Samiullah's dismissals were leg-before and with six wickets in the match, his claims for a place in the ODI squad are stronger than ever.

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