Pakistan post 281-8 in first ODI against Zimbabwe

Left-handers Haris Sohail and Imam-ul-Haq hit half centuries against some tight Zimbabwe bowling to help Pakistan post 281-8 during Friday’s first one-day international in Rawalpindi.

Sohail scored an attractive 71 from 82 balls while Imam made 58 after Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat on a slow pitch.

Once opener Abid Ali departed for 21, Pakistan had high hopes with new captain Babar Azam, regarded as one of world’s best batsmen in limited overs cricket.

But his debut as ODI skipper ended early after a clumsy looking shot off pacer Blessing Muzarabani for 19.

Imam and Sohail took Pakistan past 100 and looked set for a big partnership until disaster struck, with both batsmen out at the same end while taking a sharp single.

Imam’s knock had six hits to the boundary. Sohail, who hit two sixes and six boundaries, pulled his leg muscle and needed treatment on the ground.

Imad Wasim and Faheem Ashraf added a quickfire 42 in their late partnership and Pakistan made 48 in the last five overs.

Zimbabwe’s wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor (right) takes a catch to dismiss Haris Sohail.— AP

Zimbabwe’s spinners controlled the pace, with left-arm slow bowler Tendai Chisoro taking 2-31.

The series is part of the 13-team Super League which determines qualifiers for the next World Cup in 2023. – AFP

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