Rawalpindi   -  Impressive death bowling from Shaheen Afridi and Wahab Riaz helped Pakistan secure a 26-run victory over Zimbabwe in the first ODI in Rawalpindi. 

Despite a record-breaking century from Brendan Taylor, Zimbabwe could only muster 255 in their pursuit of Pakistan’s 281/8. This meant that the hosts secured 10 points in their first Cricket World Cup Super League fixture. Batting first, Imam-ul-Haq knocked a steady 58 for the home team before he was run out in a mix-up with Haris Sohail, with Pakistan at 119/3 just after the halfway point. 

However, Haris made amends by holding the fort at one end, scoring an impressive 71 before falling to Sikandar Raza in the 41st over. At 205/6, Imad Wasim (34*) and Faheem Ashraf (23) upped the scoring rate to help the home team finish on a respectable 281/8 from their allotted overs. Blessing Muzarabani (2/39 in eight) and Tendai Chisoro (2/31 in five) were the pick of the Zimbabwe bowlers. 

Zimbabwe’s reply got off to a torrid start, as Afridi ripped through Brian Chari and Chamu Chibhabha in his first three overs. Craig Ervine and Taylor set about repairing the innings thereafter. Ervine perished in the 22nd over for 41, but youngster Wesley Madhevere knocked a mature 55 to support Taylor. The Zimbabwe keeper made his 17th international century – surpassing Andy Flower’s record in the process. He now has the most number of centuries for Zimbabwe across formats.

But when Taylor was removed for 112 by Afridi in the 47th over, the game swung back in the hosts’ favour. Riaz (4/41 in 9.4) and Afridi (5/49 in 10) sealed victory for Pakistan with some excellent death bowling. The two teams will meet again this Sunday in Rawalpindi for the second ODI – and another 10 points in the Cricket World Cup Super League up for grabs.

Meanwhile, Pakistan made one change in its victorious squad for the second one-day international against Zimbabwe to be played today (Sunday) at Rawalpindi. The squad includes Imam ul Haq, Abid Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam- captain, Haider Ali, Mohammad Rizwan- wk, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Faheem Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Usman Qadir, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and Musa Khan.

Scorecard

Imam-ul-Haq run out 58

Abid Ali lbw b Mumba 21

Babar Azam c Taylor b Muzarabani 19

Haris Sohail c Taylor b Sikandar 71

M Rizwan b Chisoro 14

Iftikhar c Taylor b Chisoro 12

Faheem c Ervine b Muzarabani 23

Imad Wasim not out 34

Wahab Riaz run out 8

Shaheen Afridi not out 8

EXTRAS: (lb 1, nb 1, w 11) 13

Total: (8 wkts, 50 overs) 281

FOW: 1-47, 2-89, 3-119, 4-161, 5-194, 6-205, 7-247, 8-257

BOWLING: R Ngarava 10-0-49-0, CT Mumba 8-0-69 1, B Muzarabani 9-0-39-2, CJ Chibhabha 2-0-16-0, W Madhevere 7-0-31-0, Sikandar Raza 9-0-45-1, TS Chisoro 5-0-31-2. 

ZIMBABWE:

B Chari b Shaheen Afridi 2

C Chibhabha b Afridi 13

C Ervine c Haris b Imad 41

B Taylor c Wahab b Afridi 112

S Williams c Rizwan b Wahab 4

W Madhevere b Wahab 55

Sikandar Raza b Wahab 8

TS hisoro b Afridi 5

C Mumba c Wahab b Shaheen 1

R Ngarava not out 0

B Muzarabani b Wahab 5

EXTRAS: (lb 2, w 7) 9

TOTAL: (all out, 49.4 overs) 255

FOW: 1-2, 2-28, 3-99, 4-115, 5-234, 6-240, 7-245, 8-246, 9-250, 10-255

BOWLING: Shaheen Afridi 10-0-49-5, Haris Rauf 10-1-57-0, Faheem Ashraf 10-1-57-0, Wahab Riaz 9.4-0-41-4, Imad Wasim 10-0-49-1

TOSS: Pakistan

UMPIRES: Aleem Dar, Ahsan Raza

TV UMPIR: Asif Yaqoob