HARARE: Top-ranked Pakistan got off to a flying start in the Twenty20 International tri-series with a thumping 74-run win over depleted Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club on Sunday.
Zimbabwe, going into the series without five top players because of a pay dispute with the country’s cricket board, were bowled out for 108 in 17.5 overs after Pakistan had made a strong 182-4.
Opening batsman Fakhar Zaman (61) scored his second Twenty20 International century before Asif Ali blazed four sixes in his robust unbeaten 41 off 21 balls that advanced Pakistan’s total.
With Mohammad Hafeez, Hussain Talat, and captain Sarfraz Ahmed all falling cheaply, Pakistan were helped by Zaman’s fluent scoring at the other end, and he brought up his second T20I half century from 33 deliveries with a flick through square leg in the 13th over.
Zimbabwe’s batting crumbled against Pakistan’s experienced spinners as Hafeez (2-3), Mohammad Nawaz (2-11) and Shadab Khan (1-29) shared five wickets between them.
Tarisai Musakanda top scored with 43 in his debut Twenty20 International innings and was one of the three batsmen to reach double figures.
“The way Fakhar, Asif, and Malik did the job for us ... it looked like a good batting pitch,” Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said. “The ball did not come [onto the bat] in the first half [of the match], but in the second it came on nicely. Credit goes to the bowlers, especially Usman and Nawaz.”
Zimbabwe also suffered another blow when Kyle Jarvis couldn’t come out to bat after injuring his right hand during fielding. Jarvis tried to hold onto a difficult catch at long on that could have dismissed Fakhar but ended up being taken to hospital for an X-ray examination for a suspected broken bone in his right thumb.
“The only bright point was winning the toss,” Zimbabwe’s captain Hamilton Masakadza said. “They had a good Powerplay and put us under pressure and I thought we gave them 20 runs extra.”
Zimbabwe bowlers seemed to have controlled Pakistan’s strong batting lineup in the first half of the innings when the visitors scored 78-3 in 10 overs.
But Fakhar and Malik (37 not out) accelerated with a 44-run fourth-wicket stand before Asif’s clean hitting allowed Pakistan to score 62 runs off the last 32 balls.
Zimbabwe, who are ranked No. 12 in the ICC T20 team rankings, never got their chase going and lost wickets at regular intervals with only Musakanda showing some grit at the top.
Solomon Mire, opening the batting, struggled in scoring 27 off 29 balls before falling to left-arm spinner Nawaz.
The Zimbabwean tail collapsed completely, the last four wickets falling for the addition of just six runs after Musakanda was caught at mid-off in the 17th over and Hafeez, bowling for the first time since his bowling action was cleared in May, grabbed the last two wickets off his five deliveries.
Pakistan will take on Australia in the second match of the series on Monday.
Mohammad Hafeez c Masakadza b Jarvis 7
Fakhar Zaman b Chisoro 61
Hussain Talat c Moor b Chibhabha 10
Sarfraz Ahmed c Musakanda b Chisoro 16
Shoaib Malik not out 37
Asif Ali not out 41
EXTRAS (LB-1, W-9) 10
TOTAL (for four wkts, 20 overs) 182
FALL OF WKTS: 1-13, 2-44, 3-78, 4-120.
DID NOT BAT: Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Usman Khan Shinwari.
Bowling: Nyumbu 3-0-32-0; Jarvis 2-0-9-1; Muzarabani 4-0-46-0; Chibhabha 3-0-29-1 (1w); Chisoro 4-0-28-1 (1w); Mire 3-0-29-0 (2w); Burl 1-0-8-0.
S.F. Mire c Hasan b Nawaz 27
C.J. Chibhabha lbw b Nawaz 0
H. Masakadza c Sarfraz b Hasan 7
T. Musakanda c Shadab b Usman 43
P.J. Moor b Shadab 2
E. Chigumbura b Hasan 14
R.P. Burl c Malik b Hafeez 9
T.S. Chisoro c Sarfraz b Usman 1
B. Muzarabani b Hafeez 0
J. Nyumbu not out 1
K.M. Jarvis absent hurt –
EXTRAS (LB-1, W-3) 4
TOTAL (all out, 17.5 overs) 108
FALL OF WKTS: 1-1, 2-22, 3-57, 4-64, 5-88, 6-102, 7-105, 8-107, 9-108.
BOWLING: Mohammad Nawaz 4-0-11-2; Usman Khan Shinwari 3-0-11-2; Faheem Ashraf 3-0-23-0 (1w); Hasan Ali 2-0-19-2 (2w); Shadab Khan 4-0-29-1; Hussain Talat 1-0-11-0; Mohammad Hafeez 0.5-0-3-2.
RESULT: Pakistan won by 74 runs.
UMPIRES: T.J. Matibiri (Zimbabwe) and R.B. Tiffin (Zimbabwe).
TV UMPIRE: L. Rusere (Zimbabwe).
MATCH REFEREE: J.J. Crowe (New Zealand).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Asif Ali.
Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2018