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by Krish Sripada Sunday 27 September 2015
Pakistan 136-8 (Malik 35) beatZimbabwe 123-9 (Chigumbura 31) by 13 runsFirst Twenty20 International in HarareScorecard
Imad Wasim snatched away a solid opportunity from Zimbabwe with a four-wicket haul as Pakistan won the first Twenty20 International of the series in Harare by 13 runs in a low-scoring encounter.
Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat first. Ahmed Shehzad (17) started it well hitting consecutive fours in the first over from Prosper Utseya (0-32).
But, Chamu Chibhabha (3-18) delivered a brilliant second over, the fourth of the innings, when he took two wickets, those of Shehzad who missed a full delivery, followed by Mukhtar Ahmed (4) who holed out to long on.
Chibhabha continued to rattle the Pakistan top order getting Sohaib Maqsood (6) with a straight delivery that Maqsood tried to swipe across the line and missed.
Pakistan finished the power-play on 33 for three.
Shoaib Malik (35) did what he does best, which was to play a rescue act when the innings was in trouble, taking Pakistan to 67 for three.
Graeme Cremer (1-21) got Umar Akmal (14) who mistimed one to long off.
Mohammad Rizwan (33 not out) got a life thanks to a missed stumping when he was still on two.
Pakistan could only managed 91 for five after 15 overs also losing Malik just ahead of the end overs, missing the ball while making room to cut.
Rizwan was dropped again the next over as he played a cameo, supported by Wasim (19) who hit a six and four off consecutive balls to take Pakistan to 127 for five after 18 overs.
However, Tinashe Panyangara (1-8) who surprisingly bowled just two overs made sure Pakistan didn’t get too many in the last two as the visitors reached 136 for eight in their 20 overs.
Zimbabwe had a bad start losing Chibhabha (0) in the first over bowled by Wasim (4-11).
The hosts reached 37 for two in their six overs, also losing Craig Ervine (11) who was trapped in front of the stumps by Sohail Tanvir (1-24).
Wasim got Sikandar Raza (13) and Hamilton Masakdza (25) in consecutive overs after the power-play as Zimbabwe struggled to 61 for four in 10 overs.
Wasim struck a decisive blow by getting Sean Williams (14) in the 12th over and then got a direct hit from mid-on in the 14th over to run Richard Mutumbami (9) out, pushing Zimbabwe back to 77 for six after 13.1 overs.
Zimbabwe lost another couple of wickets in the next 16 balls. However, a 31-run partnership between Elton Chigumbura (31), the skipper and Utseya (12 not out) kept them in the hunt.
Chigumbura fell first ball of the last over when Zimbabwe needed 16. They could manage just two more losing the game by 13 runs.
Wasim was declared man of the match for his lovely bowling to complement a batting cameo, both performances proving to make the difference in Pakistan’s win.
© Cricket World 2015