HARARE: Mohammad Rizwan hit a fighting 82 while leg-spinner Usman Qadir grabbed three wickets as Pakistan edged out Zimbabwe by 11 runs in the first Twenty20 International in Harare on Wednesday.
Pakistan managed 149-7 in their 20 overs with their in-form wicket-keeper/batsman Rizwan anchoring the innings after they were sent in to bat at the Harare Sports Club.
Zimbabwe looked threatening at 77-2 in the 10th over but Usman (3-29) and fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain (2-27) kept them to 138-7 in the allotted 20 overs.
Zimbabwe needed 20 off the last over but fast bowler Haris Rauf kept tight length to concede just eight to pull off a hard earned win, helping Pakistan to 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
The home side, who have not qualified for the T20 World Cup in India later this year, were always just behind the rate. Craig Ervine top scored in the Zimbabwe reply with 34, but he was out to leg-spinner Usman Qadir (3-29), who also claimed the key wicket of home captain Sean Williams (9).
Usman is the son of former Pakistan great Abdul Qadir and made his debut in the recent series in South Africa.
Luke Jongwe was the second highest scorer with a 23-ball 30 not out which included three boundaries and a six while opener Tinashe Kamunhukamwe scored 29.
Pakistan — who were put into bat — started the innings on the wrong foot when their captain Babar Azam fell in the second over, playing a casual shot into the hands of cover fielder for just two.
Rizwan added two solid stands of 34 each with Fakhar Zaman (13) and debutant Danish Aziz (15) but senior batsman Mohammad Hafeez (5) and Haider Ali (five) failed.
Zimbabwe could have had more wickets had they not dropped four catches, the most costly was of Rizwan when on just 13.
Rizwan, who cracked ten boundaries and a six off 61 balls, smashed 20 off the final Richard Ngarava over to take Pakistan to a fighting total.
Off-spinning all-rounder Wesley Madhevere the pick of the bowling attack with 2-11 from two overs, while seamer Jongwe grabbed 2-24.
Zimbabwe were without their most experienced batsman Brendan Taylor, who pulled out of the game with a stomach bug. The second match in the three-game series will be played at the same venue on Friday.
The limited overs fixtures will be followed by two Tests, also at the Harare Sports Club.
Mohammad Rizwan not out 82
Babar Azam c Burl b Muzarabani 2
Fakhar Zaman b Madhevere 13
Mohammad Hafeez c Ngarava b Madhevere 5
Danish Aziz c Ngarava b Jongwe 15
Haider Ali b Jongwe 5
Faheem Ashraf run out 1
Mohammad Nawaz c Chakabva b Ngarava 9
Usman Qadir not out 2
EXTRAS (B-2, W-13) 15
TOTAL (for seven wkts, 20 overs) 149
FALL OF WKTS: 1-8 (Babar), 2-42 (Fakhar), 3-55 (Hafeez), 4-89 (Danish), 5-98 (Haider), 6-100 (Faheem), 7-124 (Nawaz).
DID NOT BAT: Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf.
BOWLING: Masakadza 3-0-20-0 (1w); Muzarabani 4-0-22-1 (1w); Ngarava 4-0-48-1 (8w); Jongwe 3-0-24-2 (2w); Madhevere 2-0-11-2; Burl 3-0-15-0 (1w); Williams 1-0-7-0.
T.S. Kamunhukamwe st Rizwan b Hafeez 29
W. Madhevere c Babar b Hasnain 14
T. Marumani c Babar b Hasnain 0
C.R. Ervine c Nawaz b Usman 34
R.P. Burl b Haris 14
S.C. Williams c Fakhar b Usman 9
R.W. Chakabva lbw b Usman 3
L.M. Jongwe not out 30
W.P. Masakadza not out 2
EXTRAS (B-1, W-2) 3
TOTAL (for seven wkts, 20 overs) 138
FALL OF WKTS: 1-21 (Madhevere), 2-21 (Marumani), 3-77 (Kamunhukamwe), 4-79 (Ervine), 5-91 (Williams), 6-95 (Chakabva), 7-122 (Burl).
DID NOT BAT: B. Muzarabani, R. Ngarava.
BOWLING: Mohammad Hasnain 4-0-27-2 (1w); Faheem Ashraf 2-0-16-0; Mohammad Nawaz 2-0-15-0; Haris Rauf 4-0-29-1 (1w); Usman Qadir 4-0-29-3; Mohammad Hafeez 4-0-21-1.
RESULT: Pakistan won by 11 runs to lead three-match series 1-0.
UMPIRES: I. Chabi (Zimbabwe) and L. Rusere (Zimbabwe)
TV UMPIRE: C. Phiri (Zimbabwe).
MATCH REFEREE: A.J. Pycroft (Zimbabwe).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Mohammad Rizwan.
SECOND MATCH: Harare, Friday (2:00pm PST).
THIRD MATCH: Harare, Sunday (2:00pm PST).
Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2021