Pakistan captain Babar Azam topped the ICC ODI rankings last week. The ongoing series against Zimbabwe is also a platform to take oneself to the top in T20. Babur has been included in the list of batsmen of this edition for his great performance against South Africa. But he could not show charisma in the first of the three-match series, returning with only 2 runs. However, his team did not return empty handed.
Pakistan advanced to the three-match series by defeating Zimbabwe by 11 runs at the Sports Club ground in Harare on Wednesday (April 21). Chasing the target of 150 runs, the hosts stopped at 136 runs.
Mohammad Rizwan fought alone on the day of the failure of the rest of the batsmen. In a great fifty, this opener brought the fighting capital to Pakistan. Later, Babar Azam’s team got a great victory in the first T20 due to the combined efforts of the bowlers. In reply to Pakistan’s 149 for seven, the hosts could not score more than 137 for seven.
Zimbabwe captain Shaun Williams decided to bowl before winning the toss yesterday. Mohammad Rizwan started the storm for Pakistan. At the other end, the visiting team regularly lost wickets as there was no one to help him. Babar Azam returned with two runs in the second over. Fakhar Zaman also left for 13 runs after the power play. Before the end of 10 overs, Pakistan lost to experienced Mohammad Hafeez.
From there, Rizwan brought enough capital to fight the team. Playing from the beginning to the end of the innings, he scored 82 runs off 61 balls with one six and 10 fours. Pakistan got a score of one and a half hundred with his bat.
Zimbabwe also lost a pair of wickets in the power play to bat at the medium target. Experienced Craig Orvin handled the danger with opener Tinash Kamunhukamoye in the third wicket. 34 runs came from Orvin’s bat, and 29 from Kamunhukamo. The pair broke up after adding 56 runs.
After their departure, Pakistan quickly took control of the match by taking two more wickets. In the end, Jungwe tried to fight alone. But in his innings of 30 runs from 23 balls, Zimbabwe can reduce the gap. Couldn’t avoid rate.
For Pakistan, Usman Qadir took three for 29 and Mohammad Hasnain took two for 26.
Rizwan became the best player of the match by playing an unbeaten innings of 72 runs. Tomorrow will be the second T20 of the series at the same venue.
Pakistan: 149/6 in 20 overs (Rizwan 72 *, Babar 2, Fakhr 13, Hafeez 5, Aziz 15, Haider 5, Fahim 1, Nawaz 9, Usman 2 *; Masakadza 3-0-20-0, Mujarabani 4-0 -22-1, Engarava 4-0-46-2, Jangwei 3-0-24-2, Madhevre 2-0-11-2, Burl 3-0-15-0, Williams 1-0-6-0) .
Zimbabwe: 138/7 in 20 overs (Kamunhukamui 29, Madhevere 14, Marumani 0, Irwin 34, Burl 14, Williams 9, Chakava 3, Jangui 30 *, Masakadza 2 *; Hasnain 4-0-26-2, Fahim 2-0 -18-0, Nawaz 2-0-15-0, Rauf 4-0-29-1, Usman 4-0-29-3, Hafeez 4-0-21-1).
Result: Pakistan won by 11 runs.
Series: Pakistan leads 1-0 in 3 match series.
Man of the Match: Mohammad Rizwan.