Pacers Shaheen Shah Afridi and Wahab Riaz delivered splendid bowling performances to help Pakistan register a comfortable win over Zimbabwe in the opening game of the one-day series played at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. With this result, Pakistan have taken 1-0 lead in the three-match one-day series.
The day started with Pakistan winning the toss and opting to bat first. Openers Abid Ali and Imam-ul-Haq added 47 runs for the opening wicket to see Pakistan get off to a decent start.
Pacer Carl Mumba provided breakthrough for Zimbabwe as trapped Abid Ali right in front of stumps in the 11th over of the innings. Captain Babar Azam came to the crease and added 42 runs with Imam-ul-Haq.
Blessing Muzarabani dismissed Babar Azam in the 17th over to see Pakistan lose their second wicket with 89 runs on the board.
With Haris Sohail smashing a crucial half-century followed by the likes of Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf delivering crucial cameos to help Pakistan post 281 runs for the loss of eight wickets in their 20 overs.
For Pakistan, Haris Sohail batted exceedingly well and finished the innings with the top-score of 71 runs off 82 balls with the help of six boundaries and two sixes. He was well supported by Imad Wasim, who chipped in with brisk cameo of 34 runs off 26 balls.
For Zimbabwe, Blessing Muzarabani was the pick of the bowlers and claimed 2 for 39 in his nine overs. Tendai Chisoro claimed two wickets, whereas Carl Mumba and Sikandar Raza picked one wicket each.
Chasing 282 runs to win the game, Brian Charl and Chamu Chibhabha perished for cheap scores to see Zimbabwe get off to a poor start.
Craig Ervine and wicket-keeper Brendan Taylor led the fightback for Zimbabwe and put on a 71-run partnership for the third wicket.
Craig Ervine played well and perished in the 21st over after scoring 41 runs off 68 balls with the help of six boundaries.Despite losing at Ervine at the other hand, Brendan Taylor played exceedingly and smashed a valiant century for Zimbabwe.
He finished the innings with the top-score of 112 runs off 117 balls with the help of eleven fours and three sixes. He was well supported by Wesley Madhevere, who chipped in with 55 runs off 61 balls with the help of six boundaries.
Despite splendid efforts from Brendan Taylor and Wesley Madhevere, Zimbabwe could only manage to score 255 runs and eventually lost the game by 26 runs.
For Pakistan, Shaheen Shah Afridi was the standout bowler for the side and claimed his second five-wicket haul in his limited-overs career. Left-arm quick Wahab Riaz ran through the tail and claimed four wickets in the match.
For his outstanding performance with the bat, Brendan Taylor was named player of the match.