ZIM vs PAK: 1st T20I, Review-Pakistan storm to comprehensive triumph in series opener

ZIM vs PAK: 1st T20I, Review-Pakistan storm to comprehensive triumph in series opener

Fakhar Zaman top scored with 61 runs to set up the platform for the massive score.

Fakhar Zaman
Fakhar Zaman. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After all the turmoil surrounding the political scenario in Zimbabwe, the tri-nation series involving Pakistan, Australia, and the hosts finally got underway. The Men in Green entered the match as the top-ranked team and were expected to roll over their opponents without dropping much sweat. On the contrary, Zimbabwe missed out on quite a few key players ahead of the contest.

Hamilton Masakadaza, one of their more senior players, was appointed as the captain and he had a task on his hands to deliver for the rather ‘depleted’ side. The match at the Harare Sports Club tried out to be one-sided as Sarfraz Ahmed and Co romped home to victory by 74 runs. Their batsmen posted 182 following which the bowlers rocked the hapless hosts.

Fakhar Zaman and middle order lift visitors

Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to field first. Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez opened the innings but didn’t blaze away from the outset. Hafeez tried to break the shackles, but Kyle Jarvis nipped him out in the second over to draw first blood. Hussain Talat also strained and could only manage 10 runs, however, he lent appropriate support to Fakhar, who looked impressive at the other end.

The left-handed Zaman found the boundaries and also ran hard between the wickets to ensure that the scoreboard keeps ticking. In the power-play, Sarfraz Ahmed’s men notched 42 runs. Talat perished in the seventh over as Chamu Chibhabha picked up his first wicket when the batsman tried to steer the ball down to the third man only to find the gloves of Peter Moor. Thereafter, the skipper joined Fakhar in the middle.

The duo carved a partnership of 34 runs from 22 balls and injected momentum into the innings. Fakhar, yet again, was the aggressor in the stand. Sarfraz spanked a couple of boundaries in his knock, but could only manage 16 runs off 15 balls. Tendai Chisoro picked him up with the display of his deceptive variation, which fooled the Pakistani captain. Tarisai Musakanda completed a simple catch.

Shoaib Malik came in next and needed to stay with Fakhar and guide his team to a formidable total. The Sialkot-born batsman brought all his experience to the fore and carved a breezy stand of 42 runs in 24 balls. In the 15th over, Chisoro churned out the wicket of Fakhar, who impressed with a knock of 61 runs. Asif Ali’s blistering cameo of 41 runs in double quick time lifted the Green Army to 182 runs.

Bowlers strangle Masakadza and Co

The run chase was going to be a tough ask for the hosts batting lineup, which wasn’t at its full strength. Solomon Mire and Chamu Chibhabha commenced proceedings, but the latter couldn’t survive the heat and was trapped in front by left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz in the very first over. Masakadza found the stands once, however, Hasan Ali cut short his knock as the right-hander went for a booming cover-drive.

Musakanda, who made his T20I debut today, had the onus along with Mire to resurrect the stutter. They put forth a partnership of 34 runs off 28 balls and got the innings on track. Nawaz got rid of Mire in the 11th over to dent Zimbabwe. In the last 10 overs, they needed 119 runs with six wickets remaining. Musakanda didn’t disappoint in his first match and compiled a knock of 43 runs in 35 balls.

Elton Chigumbura, who also made a comeback to the national team after quite a while, began well with a four and a six, but Hasan Ali castled him to take the sting out of the opposition batting. A couple of overs later, Musakanda perished to Usman Khan after which the heads went down for Zimbabwe. Hafeez also chipped in with a couple of wickets to end the home team’s misery with 13 balls remaining.

Brief Scores

Pakistan: 182/4 in 20 overs; (Fakhar Zaman 61, Asif Ali 41; Tendai Chisoro 2/28, Kyle Jarvis 1/9)

Zimbabwe: 108 all out in 17.5 overs; (Tarisai Musakanda 43, Solomon Mire 27; Mohammad Nawaz 2/11, Mohammad Hafeez 2/3)

Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by  74 runs

Player of the Match: Asif Ali