HARARE: Imran Khan (Jr.) bowled the last over and bowled 6 slower deliveries to make it impossible for the Zimbabwean tail-enders to read. Zimbabwe lost 9 wickets but weren’t able to reach the set target of 137 runs. They could only manage to score 123 runs in their allotted 20 overs. Pakistan won the match and now lead the series by 1 – 0.
Earlier, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Rizwan led the innings from Pakistan side. Shoaib scored 35 runs off just 24 balls with the help of 2 boundaries and a six while the wickets fell around him. Rizwan scored 33 runs off 32 balls but held the innings together in the late overs and managed to take the scoreboard above 130-run mark.
Chamu Chibhabha bagged 3 wickets while Tinashe Panyangara, Luke Jongwe, Graeme Cremer and Sean Williams all secured one wicket each.
Zimbabwe were shaky right from the start of their innings. Chibhabha was bowled out by Imad on the last ball of the first over without scoring any runs. Ervine hung out there for a while but finally gave in to Sohail Tanvir who got him LBW and Zimbabwe were 27 for 2 on the first ball of the 6th over. Sikandar Raza was the next to go. But Masakadza still held on, keeping Zimbabwe’s hopes alive. But at the score of 60, out of which Masakadza had scored 25 off 25 balls, he was caught by Mukhtar Ahmed off Imad’s bowling.
Sean Williams was the last hope for the hosts but he was out twice on one ball as he came forward countering Imad who fired one straight in. Williams was caught on nagging as the ball hit his pad, Rizwan was quick to break the stumps as well and before the leg-umpire could raise his finger for stump, he had already been given LBW.
Mutumbami, Jongwe and Cremer; all came in but did nothing special to rescue Zimbabwe. Chigumbura tried at the end as the hosts looted 12 runs off Wahab Riaz’s last over, 18th of the innings, but were unable to make much out of the last 2 overs bowled by Sohail Tanvir and Imran Khan (Jr.) respectively.
Imad Wasim was declared Man of the Match for his brilliant 4 for 11. Pakistan are now 1 up in the 2-match series and have gone back to their hotel with their tails up.
Earlier: Topsy-turvy chase for Zimbabwe as Pakistan bowlers tighten things up. Imad Wasim got 4 wickets, holding Zimbabwe back from scoring briskly.
Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. The innings remained tough for the batsmen as the Zimbabwe bowlers kept taking wickets after regular intervals. However, the 137-run target hasn t proved easy for the Zimbabwe since they have already lost 8 wickets and the runs required are way ahead of the balls remaining. Imad Wasim bowled brilliantly to get 4 wickets during his quota of 4 overs, giving away only 11 runs. Shahid Afridi proved costly but his troops did better.
Left-arm seamer Imran Khan was handed an international debut as Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat in the first of two Twenty20 internationals against Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.
The 27-year-old was the leading wicket-taker as Peshawar Region lifted Pakistan s domestic Twenty20 trophy earlier this month, and was brought straight into the Pakistani side as they explore their options ahead of next year s World Twenty20 in India.
Meanwhile, allrounder Luke Jongwe played his first international for Zimbabwe in more than a year and made his T20I bow, as the hosts added depth to their batting line-up.
Zimbabwe have never beaten Pakistan in a Twenty20 international in seven attempts to date.
The two-match Twenty20 international series will be followed by three one-day internationals at the same venue.