BULAWAYO: Pakistan stormed to a 201-run win over Zimbabwe here on Friday in the opening game of their five-match one-day series.
Career-best efforts from opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq and leg spinner Shadab Khan ensured that Pakistan kept control through both innings.Opener Imam cracked 128 runs as Pakistan made 308 for 7.
Khan then made short work of Zimbabwes lower order to collect 4 for 32 as the hosts were bowled out in the 35th over for 107.Imam was backed up by Fakhar Zaman, who continued his good form with 60, and Asif Ali, who smashed a rapid 46 on debut to boost Pakistan’s total after they had been put in to bat under grey, wintery skies this morning.
Pakistan started slowly with the bat. With the new ball nipping around Imam played and missed at several deliveries and was lucky to survive an edge off fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani, the ball dropping just in front of second slip.
But Imam gritted his way through the difficult patch, and, with Fakhar scoring fluently, Pakistan put on an opening stand of 113 in under 25 overs.Fakhar brought up his fourth fifty of Pakistan tour but then hit a return catch to debutant offspinner Liam Roche. Imam then shifted through the gears to bring up a 109-ball hundred in the 37th over.
Zimbabwe bowlers struck back at the death with Tendai Chatara and Donald Tiripano picking up two apiece, as Pakistan lost five wickets in the last 10 overs.
Bowling: Chatara 10-0-49-2 (1w); Muzarabani 10-1-56-1; Tiripano 10-0-66-2; Chibhabha 3-0-22-0; Roche 7-0-54-1; W Masakadza 10-0-56-1 (1w)