Pakistan v Zimbabwe 3rd T20I - Whitewash for Pakistan
Abdullah Shafiq reviews third Pakistan v Zimbabwe T20I
A thumping eight-wicket win by Pakistan earned them a three-nil whitewash in the T20I series against Zimbabwe in Rawalpindi. With a number of exciting youth in its squad on show, the home team was able to dominate against an opposition that is ranked 14th in the ICC T20I world ranking.
Pakistan 130 - 2
Zimbabwe 129 - 9
Result - Pakistan won by 8 wickets
Due to the coronavirus pandemic Zimbabwe team arrived in Pakistan to play six international matches – 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is - within a 12-day window. All of its fixtures were restricted to Pindi Cricket Stadium and with no crowd allowed to come in, just as yet. The home side, introduced Abdullah Shafique, impressive both at u-19 and for Multan Sultans in the PSL, as an opening batsman, on his international debut. In the opposite camp, Saudi-born Faraz Akram was making his first appearance too, at this level.
Haris Rauf had a dreadful opening over which went for 19 runs, including three boundaries from the bat of Chamu Chibhabha, the Zimbabwe skipper who had chosen to bat first. The score moved to 39-2 after 6 overs in the powerplay. Chibhabha’s six over long-on, off Imad Wasim brought the fifty of the innings in 7.4 overs but he holed out into the deep trying a big shot against Usman Qadir with 31 off 28 balls. The two slow bowlers strangled the Zimbabwe batsmen, who were found wanting in their footwork.
A guard of honour by Pakistan players for Elton Chigumbura was a gesture he fully deserved, as he walked to play his last game for Zimbabwe. The 34-year old bowed out of international game, having served his country since making his debut back in April 2004. Usman with another spell that was pleasing to the purist, with his third wicket left Zimbabwe reeling at 75-6 in the 13th over. He finished with 4-13, with 16 dot balls and no boundary off the bat in his four overs and the final total was restricted to 129-9 at the end of 20 overs.
Chasing a modest target, Pakistan management were keen to see Fakhar Zaman returning to his best form, in the last game of the series. It wasn’t to be as after getting dropped early on, he freed his arms for an 85-meter six over wide mid-wicket, only to depart trying another one, with just 21 off 24 balls to his credit. New cap, Abdullah, who hails from Sialkot, showed no nerves and has a range of strokes to go with an orthodox defence.
Pakistan 69-1 off 10 overs, sped to the victory with both Abdullah (41 off 33balls) and Khushdil Shah (36 off 15 balls) in no mood to hang around. The winning runs came after 15.2 overs, courtesy of Khusdil’s third powerful six and the one-sided series was wrapped up. By pushing himself back the order, Babar Azam allowed the new breed of T20 players to steer the side to a win.
Pakistan - Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Babar Azam(c), Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Imad Wasim, Usman Qadir, Muhammad Musa, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain
Zimbabwe - Brendan Taylor(wk), Chamu Chibhabha(c), Wesley Madhevere, Elton Chigumbura, Ryan Burl, Craig Ervine, Milton Shumba, Wellington, Masakadza, Faraz Akram, Donald Tiripano, Blessing Muzarabani
Start Time: 10:30
Toss: Zimbabwe won the toss and decided to bat
Venue: Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi
Officials: Aleem Dar, Ahsan Raza, Asif Yaqoob, Shozab Raza, Mohammad Javed
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