ISLAMABAD: Pakistan won the three-match One Day series by 2-0, when they outplayed Zimbabwe by six wickets in the second ODI here at the Pindi Stadium on Sunday.
The match was finished in style by Skipper Babar Azam by hitting a six in the 35.2 over. The prolific batsman remained not out on 77 runs and hit seven 4s and two 6s. For Pakistan, Abid Ali was the first to go to the pavilion for 22 runs including four 4s. He was taken by Ervine in Tendai Chisoro’s over. Pakistan reached half-century in 8.4 overs while made 100 in 15.5 overs.
Imam went unlucky as he was caught behind on 49 runs in Tendai Chisoro’s over. He played 61 balls and hit five 4s.
Haider Ali who received the debut cap from Skipper Babar Azam hit the first six of the game in the 20.4 over. He tried to play a sweep shot in the 21.6 over of Sea Williams and was deemed lbw by the umpire but the review was been taken which also showed that no bat or gloves were involved and the ball hit the middle. Mohammad Rizwan was bold by Sikandar Raza in the 26.1 over when he tried to play a reverse sweep, but missed and the ball touched the stumps on the way through to the keeper.
On the day, Zimbabwe elected to bat after winning the toss and were restricted to a total of 206 runs in the 45.1 overs by the Pakistani bowlers. Ifthikhar Ahmed was the pick of the bowlers as he bagged five wickets for 40 runs. His big wicket was of Brendan Taylor (36) who was the man of the match in the first ODI for his amazing knock in the game. He also went on to take Wesley Madhevere (10), Sikandar Raza (2), Tendai Chisoro (7) and Sean Williams (75) and was declared man of the match.
Debutant Muhammad Musa Khan who received the debut cap from pacer Wahab Raiz, bagged two wickets for 21 runs. He took wickets of Craig Ervine (3) and Carl Mumba (11). Haris Rauf, Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim grabbed one wicket each for 31, 30 and 43 runs, respectively. Sean Williams was the highest scorer for Zimbabwe as he hit 75 runs including ten 4s and a six while the danger man Brendan Taylor could only score 36 runs in the game smashing three 4s and two 6s.
Pakistan’s international umpire Aleem Dar also surpassed Rudi Koertzen’s record of most ODIs as an umpire in the second ODI between Pakistan and Zimbabwe, which was his 210th ODI. The 52-year-old, who played first-class cricket in Pakistan for over a decade as an all-rounder before taking up umpiring, had also made his ODI debut in Pakistan, when he stood in a match against Sri Lanka in his hometown of Gujranwala in February 2000.
Last year, Aleem passed his idol Steve Bucknor to the top of the Test umpires’ list. He holds the record of officiating in 132 Test matches and was second in the list of T20s, only behind compatriot Ahsan Raza, with 46 T20s. Aleem has officiated in 387 international matches so far, the most by any umpire.
Speaking at the virtual media conference after the match Pakistan bowling coach Waqar Younis was happy with the team’s and bowler’s performance. “Bowlers did very well, it is a young line up. Haris and Musa are getting better and better. We are trying to give an opportunity to youngsters so that they can settle down as major cricket was coming ahead like World Cup and series against New Zealand,” he said.
He also lauded Ifthikhar saying the five-wicket haul would boost his confidence and praised Shaheen Shah Afridi. “Shaheen is a wonderful talent and is great learner listener. He swings the bowl at a good pace and the way he is learning from the last 1 year he has got control on the ball,” he said.
He also heaped praise for Haider Ali and said he was a wonderful talent and plays modern-day cricket. “He is getting better every day and his body language his length, I feel he’s very talented and has an aggressive nature and will be a handful in the coming years,” he said.
To a question, he said regarding players playing international leagues, he said they have to take No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the board which would be given by looking into the schedule and other related matters with the team.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe coach Douglas Hondo said he was disappointed as his team didn’t manage to play 50 overs. “We gave our wickets away. It was lack of application that caused the loss of wickets to Ifthikhar. We are going to try and win the next game. We will try to play a complete game in the next game,” he said.
He also lauded Wesley Madhevere saying he was a levelheaded cricketer who plays 360 degrees the pitch and has a good temperament.
“We have got a massive talent in him. He is playing around senior players and is going to learn the ropes very well with players like Taylor and Williams who have got 100 of ODIs under their belt,” he said.