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Pakistan Thrash Zimbabwe in first ODI in Rawalpindi

-- Shaheen Afridi takes five wickets, Brandon Taylor strikes 112

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By Our Web Desk

RAWALPINDI– Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by 26 run in first One Day International (ODI) that was played at the Rawalpindi cricket stadium on Friday.

Chasing 282, Zimbabwe were all out for 255 in 49.4 overs.

Shaheen Afridi sent five batsmen to pavilion while Wahab Riaz took four wickets to send the entire team to the pavilion.

Zimbabwe’s Brandon Taylor struck 100 but failed to succeed in making win.

A late blitz by all-rounder Imad Wasim propelled the hosts to 281, as Pakistan ended the innings with two wickets to spare.

Opener Imam ul Haq and middle-order batsman Haris Sohail scored half-centuries for the host team with scores of 58 and 71.

For Zimbabwe, Blessing Muzarabani and Tendai Chisoro took two wickets each, while, Carl Mumba and Pakistan-born Sikander Raza took one wicket each to restrict Pakistan to 281.

Earlier, Captain Babar Azam won the toss and decided to bat first as Pakistan kick-started its Cricket World Cup Super League campaign. The opening match at the Pindi Stadium is Babar Azam’s first as Pakistan’s ODI captain. It is also the first international match to be played in the country without spectators.

Pakistan handed a debut to Lahore Qalandars pacer Haris Rauf after his strong performance in the Pakistan Super League and the domestic circuit.

A dominant Pakistan had thumped Zimbabwe 5-0 in a 2018 ODI series, winning every match fair and square. Things, however, have changed since then. Inclusion of some senior players such as Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams and Craig Ervine has given some impetus to the touring side.