Zimbabwe vs Pakistan, 1st T20I: Pakistan do just enough to beat Zimbabwe
Pakistan did just enough to beat Zimbabwe by 11 runs today, at the Harare Sports Club, Harare.
Zimbabwe vs Pakistan, 1st T20I, Pakistan tour of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe 138/7 (20 ov)
Pakistan 149/7 (20 ov)
Result - Pakistan won by 11 runs
Pakistan bowlers come to the rescue by Salim Parvez
Pakistan managed to edge out Zimbabwe by 12 runs in the first of the three T20I to be played in Harare. By playing an anchor’s role, wicket-keeper batsman, Mohammad Riwan with an unbeaten 82 to his name, was named Player of the Match, in a low-scoring contest between the two sides.
Put in to bat by Zimbabwe captain Sean Williams, Pakistan were only 42-1 after six overs of powerplay and the innings’ first six was hit by T20I debutante, Danish Aziz in the 12th over. The middle over batting contributed very little and the paceman Blessing Muzarabani, only conceded 22 runs in his 4 overs and claimed the prize wicket of Babar Azam.
Zimbabwe had reduced Pakistan to 129-7 at the end of 19 overs and Rizwan was eager to keep the strike for the last over, bowled by Richard Ngarava. After a dot ball, he swung the bat to good effect and scored 4,2,6,4 and 4 off the last five balls to give the bowlers a fighting total to defend. We have seen Rizwan adapt very well across all three international formats and today one felt with no worthwhile support from the other end and wickets falling regularly, he too was not at his most fluent. But 20 runs that came off his bat, in the last over, pushed Pakistan total to 149-7. He only faced 61 balls and hit 10 fours and a six whilst carrying his bat.
Pakistan had taken the field without Shaheen Afridi, who for almost two years had played non-stop cricket as he features in all three international formats. The management wisely thought of resting him for today and there is absolutely no harm in him sitting the whole of the three-match series. It was an additional challenge for the rest of the bowling attack to keep things tidy.
Zimbabwe after 10 overs were 73-2 and Tinashe Kamunhukamwe (29) and Craig Ervine (34), had batted without undue risks and laid the foundation for a win for their team. Their stand was broken by Mohammad Hafeez’s off-spin and soon after that Usman Qadir claimed three wickets in short space of time and Pakistan were back in hunt. Although all-rounder Luke Jongwe led the fight with an unbeaten 30 off 23 balls, the penultimate over bowled by Mohammad Hasnain, which only went for 8 runs, left Zimbabwe to score 20 off the last over. Haris Rauf would not let that to happen and earned his side a win.
Zimbabwe - Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Wesley Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Craig Ervine, Sean Williams(c), Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva(wk), Luke Jongwe, Wellington Masakadza, Blessing, Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava
Pakistan - Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Babar Azam(c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Usman Qadir, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf
Start Time: 10:00
Toss: Zimbabwe won the toss and decided to field
Venue: Harare Sports Club, Harare
Officials: Iknow Chabi, Langton Rusere, Christopher Phiri, Forster Mutizwa, Andrew Pycroft
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