Twitter Reactions: Pakistan's Shaheen Afridi and Wahab Riaz steal the game from Zimbabwe after Brendan Taylor's prolific ton

Twitter Reactions: Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi and Wahab Riaz steal the game from Zimbabwe after Brendan Taylor’s prolific ton

Taylor scored 112 runs and kept Zimbabwe in the chase until the last five overs.

Shaheen Afridi
Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

The Pakistan cricket team was involved in a One-day International after a span of 13 months against Zimbabwe on October 30, Friday at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. This was also the first time when Babar Azam was captaining the Men in Green at home. The first ODI of the three-match ODI series witnessed a clinical performance by the hosts across all the three facets of the game be it bowling, batting or fielding as they registered a victory by 26 runs.

Having won the toss, Babar Azam opted to bat first. Though the hosts got off to a decent start as the openers Imam-ul-Haq and Abid Ali collected 41 runs in 10 overs, the latter was soon lbw off Carl Mumba. Abid lost his wicket after scoring just 21 runs off 30 deliveries. He was soon followed by the captain Babar who looked promising with the bat but failed to convert it into a big knock and got out to Blessing Muzarabani after smashing 3 boundaries.

The two left-handers Imam and Haris Sohail tried to rebuild the innings in the middle but a communication error resulted in both the batsmen diving at the same end. Imam, who was playing at 58 off 75 deliveries, gifted his wicket to the opposition with an easy run-out. Though Pakistan looked in trouble, an impressive innings of 71 off 82 by Sohail balls followed by a quick cameo of 34 unbeaten in 26 deliveries by Imad Wasim resulted in the hosts posting a competitive total of 281 on the board.

Muzarabani and Tendai Chisoro emerged as the top wicket-takers for Zimbabwe with two wickets each while Mumba and Sikandar Raza had one each to their name

Taylor leads the chase for Zimbabwe only to bottle it later

The visitors had a horrible start while chasing 282 as they cheaply lost the wickets of both their opening batsmen, Brian Chari and captain Chamu Chibhabha within five overs to Shaheen Afridi. Craig Ervine and Brendan Taylor tried to stabilise the team as they stitched an important partnership of 71 runs. However, in the 22nd over, Imad Wasim got the better of Ervine. Zimbabwe was soon jolted again in the 27th over when Sean Williams lost his wicket to Wahab Riaz after scoring a mere 4 runs in 14 balls.

Despite wickets falling at one end, Brendan held his forte as he smashed a much-needed century (112 off 117). His composure with the bat kept Zimbabwe in the chase until the last five overs. Though Wesley Madhevere tried to support Taylor he lost his wicket after scoring a half-century (55 runs). What followed was a very tight bowling by the hosts as Shaheen Afridi gave a much-needed breakthrough to his team by taking the wicket of in-form Brendan.

After that it was a cakewalk for the Men in Green as no other opposition batsmen took the responsibility. A combined effort by Shaheen, who took a five-wicket haul and Riaz, who named four wickets ensured their team an easy victory by 26 runs.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: