Cricket

Zimbabwe outclass Pakistan for the first time ever in T20 international

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  • Pakistan were outclassed by a brilliant bowling performance by Zimbabwe, who defended the lowest total of 118 at the Harare Sports Club to set up the series for the decider.

In their 16th attempt, Zimbabwe recorded their first ever T20I win against Pakistan when they defeated the visitors by 19 runs in the second T20I on Friday.

Pakistan were outclassed by a brilliant bowling performance by Zimbabwe, who defended the lowest total of 118 at the Harare Sports Club to set up the series for the decider.

The hosts were asked to bat and with the return of Brendan Taylor captaining the side in the absence of Sean Williams, who missed out due to an injury. The hosts’ conservative approach in the powerplay resulted in Taylor (5) being forced to play a rash shot, losing his wicket to Faheem Ashraf.

Zimbabwe managed 25/1 in the first six overs with Tinashe Kamunhukamwe and Tadiwanashe Marumani at the crease. The debutant Arshad Iqbal struck with the second breakthrough for Pakistan as he snared his maiden international wicket dismissing Marumani for 13.

Thereafter, Kamunhukamwe’s modus operandi of prudent batting didn’t help Zimbabwe’s cause as he failed to capitalize on his slow start. He became Danish Aziz’s victim – out caught for 34 runs in 40 balls.

The Pakistani bowlers had taken charge of the game from ball one and looked in complete control. Late in the innings, Regis Chakabva (18) and Tarisai Musakanda (13) fought fire with fire but were not able to last for long.

What looked like a comfortable total to chase down, Pakistan was crippled with the early loss of the in-form Mohammad Rizwan (13) and Fakhar Zaman (2) and were reduced to 37/2 in 7.5 overs.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez then attempted to revive the chase. Hafeez’s lack of runs since his return to the side continued as managed to score just five runs in 10 deliveries.

Babar played a sensible hand of 41 off 45 balls but lack of support from the other end forced him to succumb under rising pressure.

Zimbabwe bowlers rattled the Pakistani middle-order causing a big collapse. From 78/3 in the 16th over, Pakistan were bundled out for 99.

Luke Jongwe starred with the ball for Zimbabwe with his best T20I bowling figures of 4/18 that included the prized wickets of Babar and Rizwan.

The series will be decided on Sunday, 25 April at the same venue. – ICC Cricket ■

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