Pakistan beat Zimbabwe in T20I Tri Series opener by 74 runs
A tri-nation T20I series, despite an increasing number of international matches all around the globe, is quite uncommon. Harare Sports Club, is the venue for the host Zimbabwe, Australia and Pakistan to compete in an 8-day event, with each team playing four match apiece before the Final on 8th July. The national anthems of Pakistan and Zimbabwe, played prior to the kick-off this morning, reminding players of the national pride being at stake.
Pakistan 182-4 (Fakhar Zaman 61)
Pakistan proved too good for Zimbabwe in the opening match in front of a Sunday crowd. Left-handed opening batsman, Fakhar Zaman, with a blitz of an innings: 61 off 40balls with 3 fours and as many sixes, was top scorer of the day. Without looking at his best and dropped by Kyle Jarvis at long-on after reaching 50 off 33 balls, Fakhar, was very hard to contain. Asif Ali, good compact player and a clean striker of the ball, hit 41 off 21 balls of orthodox batting. His innings propelled Pakistan total to 182-4 and Player of the Match award.
In reply to an imposing Pakistan total, Zimbabwe failed to take advantage of powerplay overs and were grateful for debutante, Tarisai Musakanda, top-scorer with 43, for without his contribution, it would have been a pretty sorry scorecard. They were eventually bowled out for 108 in 17.5 overs against a Pakistan bowling, that has both variety and depth, to retain its position as no.1 t20 side in the world.
The absence of five key players, due to their differences with Zimbabwe cricket Board, has depleted the home side. The crisis facing Zimbabwe cricket is set to damage their prospect in the present series. The newly-appointed captain, Hamilton Masakadza, only got the confirmation of his role, 48 hours prior to the game. Kyle Jarvis, who has a suspected fracture of right thumb, inflicted whilst trying to catch Fakhar Zaman, could not bowl his last two overs. Lalchand Rajput, former Indian batsman, has taken over as Zimbabwe coach, and would do his utmost to regroup an inexperienced squad, which features, a 6ft.8inches tall gangly paceman, Blessing Muzarabani, with a bright future, ahead of him.
© Cricket World 2018