2nd ODI Pakistan v Zimbabwe: Pakistan and Babar prove their superiority
One-up in the series, Pakistan were happy to give ODI debut to Haider Ali and Mohammad Musa – two of the exciting youngsters in the 15-man squad. To ensure no international fixture is seen as a mere obligation, each game since July this year is counted towards, the 2020-22 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League. Pakistan with an easy six wicket-win, also secured the series and important points to the league table.
Pakistan 208/4 (35.2)
Zimbabwe 206/10 (45.1)
Result - Pakistan won by 6 wickets
History landmark was reached today at Pindi Cricket Stadium, when Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar standing in his 210th ODI, overtaking South Africa’s Rudi Koertzen’s tally. The Jhang-born 52-year old Aleem has enjoyed an outstanding career as a top class official in all three formats, ever since chosen in the ICC elite panel of umpires in 2002. Collectively he has the honour of officiating 388 (210 ODI, 132 Test, 46 T20) international matches, another record.
Zimbabwe after winning the toss chose to bat first and had lost three wickets for 59 in the 16th over. After their spirited chase, two days ago, one thought they might have been better off, trying the same. Sean Williams, who opened his account with a four and a six in Imad Wasim’s over that went for 17, held the innings together with 75 off 70 balls. His dismissal in the 38th over gave Pakistan a complete control and the tail-enders to bat out the remaining 12.4 overs. They were all out for 205 in 45.1 overs.
Iftikhar Ahmed, after sending back the dangerous Brendan Taylor, sweeping for 36, strangled the Zimbabwe innings to add another four to his name. He bowled his 10 overs straight in a single spell to finish with a career-best 5-40, in the wake of criticism of his selection.
Left-handed, Imam-ul-Haq, though capable and averaging quite high in ODIs, will need to improve his strike rate dramatically, more so in powerplay. With that in mind, he began with two boundaries in the first over, as Pakistan chased a modest target of 207 runs. Zimbabwe’s bowling fielding and bowling was not at their best and the opening partnership of Imam and Abid Ali put on 50 in 8.4 overs and moving on to 67-0 in the first powerplay 1 of 10 overs. The total got to 100 in 15.5 overs Imam departed for 49 off 61 balls.
In came Haider Ali, off the mark with a late cut off his first delivery faced, was missed by wicket-keeper Taylor and then lofted a six over mid-on off Williams. A natural striker of the ball, he was quickly in his stride and overtaken Babar Azam but had to depart with a breezy 29 off 24 balls. It had the urgency of a T20 contest and yet another proof of his promise. Zimbabwe spinners did their best but could not stop Babar, who after a run-a-ball fifty, took his side to a win with a six over long off and finishing with 77 with 74 deliveries, featuring 7 fours and 2 sixes.
Waqar Younis and Douglas Hondo review second ODI
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