PAKISTAN captain Babar Azam won the toss and elected to bat Friday in the series-opening one-day international against Zimbabwe at the Pindi Cricket Stadium.
Both teams are opening their World Cup Super League campaigns after the International Cricket Council has introduced the competition to bring context to ODI cricket.
The top seven teams in the league will directly qualify for the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India. The league features 13 countries playing four home and away three-match ODI series.
Babar, who leads Pakistan in Twenty20s, will be captaining for the first time in the ODI format. He was appointed ODI captain during the lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pakistan gave an ODI debut to fast bowler Haris Rauf, who received his cap from bowling coach Waqar Younis before the toss.
The home team has packed its playing XI with four fast bowlers, with allrounder Faheem Ashraf getting a nod ahead of uncapped leg-spinner Usman Qadir.
Zimbabwe, led by Chamu Chibhabha, left out experienced batsman Elton Chigumubura for the first match of the three-match series. Fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani returned to ODI format after nearly two years.
The teams are lined up as follows:
Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Imam-ul-Haq, Abid Ali, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf
Zimbabwe: Chamu Chibhabha (captain), Sikandar Raza, Brian Chari, Tendai Chisoro, Craig Ervine, Wessley Madhevere, Carl Mumba, Richard Ngarava, Blessing Muzarabani, Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams. – AP ■