Iftikhar Ahmed spins Pakistan to comfortable win in Rawalpindi

Bowlers put in a clinical performance followed by Babar Azam’s splendid half-century to see Pakistan register six-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the second game of the one-day series played at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. With this result, Pakistan have already clinched the series with one game remaining.

Earlier in the day, Zimbabwe won the toss and opted to bat first. Pacer Mohammad Musa came in place of Wahab Riaz, who was rested for this fixture. Mohammad Musa and Haris Rauf picked up crucial breakthroughs to see Zimbabwe reduced to 27 for 2 after 8.2 overs.

Brian Charl struggled to get going in his innings and perished in the 15th over after scoring 25 runs off 46 balls with the help of three fours and one six. With the side in spot of bother at 59 for 3, Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams led the fightback with a 61-run partnership for the third wicket.

For Zimbabwe, Sean Williams was the standout batsman against Pakistan. Left-hander put in splendid performance and finished the innings with the top-score of 75 runs off 70 balls with help of ten boundaries and one six. He was well supported by likes of Brendan Taylor, who chipped in with 36 runs off 45 balls with the help of three fours and two sixes.

Despite a crucial half-century from Williams, Zimbabwe got bundled out for 206 runs in 45.1 overs.

For Pakistan, part-time spinner Iftikhar Ahmed was the pick of the bowlers and claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in one-day internationals.

Chasing 207 runs for victory, openers Imam-ul-Haq and Abid Ali put on a 68-run partnership to see Pakistan get off to a perfect start.

Abid Ali once again failed to make it count and perished in the 10th over of the innings. He scored 22 runs off 24 balls with the help of four fours.

His opening partner, Imam-ul-Haq, looked good in his innings and stitched another crucial partnership with Babar Azam. Left-hander perished in the 16th over after scoring 49 runs off 61 balls with the help of five boundaries.

Rookie Haider Ali looked in fluent touch with the bat and scored 29 runs off 24balls with the help of one four and two sixes.

Captain Babar Azam led the way with the bat for Pakistan. He produced a splendid knock of 77 not out off 74 balls with the help of seven fours and two sixes.  All-rounder Iftikhar Ahmed remained unbeaten till end and scored 16 runs off 24 balls.

For Zimbabwe, Left-arm orthodox Tendai Chisoro was the standout bowler on display and finished the innings with figures of 2 for 49 in his 10 overs.

For his maiden-wicket haul and crucial runs with the bat, Iftikhar Ahmed was awarded player of the match. The third and final game of the one-day series will be played on 3rd November at Rawalpindi.

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