Pakistan vs Zimbabwe: Afirdi’s fiver sailed Pakistanis to Victory in the 1st ODI
Image PCB

Pakistan vs Zimbabwe: Afirdi’s fiver sailed Pakistanis to Victory in the 1st ODI. Pakistan vs Zimbabwe: Pakistan defeats Zimabawe by26 runs. 

Rawalpindi(Pakistan): Pakistan started their World Cup campaign for the 2023 ODI Word Cup on 30th October against Zimbabwe. Pakistan and Zimbabwe will play 3 matches ODI series in Pakistan. The first match of the series was played on 30th October in Rawalpindi while the other two will also be hosted at the same venue on Sunday and Tuesday.

Pakistan celebrating wicketPakistan vs Zimbabwe
Pakistan Celebrating Wicket (Image – AFP)

Shaheen Shah Afridi led Pakistanis to a thriller win against Zimbabwe by taking 5 wicket haul in the first ODI. While Wahab Riyaz took 4 wickets to support his counterpart in the victory. 

Shaheen Afridi a young talent and the next big thing for Pakistan Cricket (as they say) looked controlled throughout the innings, while other bowlers faced difficulty. The young pacer put Zimbabwe’s batting lineup to backfoot by dismissing Brian Chari(2 runs) and skipper Chamu Chibhabha (13 runs) earlier in the powerplays itself. 

Brendon Taylor stood at the other end stood strongly, and made 71 runs crucial partnership with Craig Ervine( 41 runs ). But Imad Wasim opened his account of wickets by dismissing Craig Ervine in 21st over. 

Brendon Taylor looked in good touch and completed his 11 ODI century with an overthrow and raised his bat, standing ovations all over Zimbabwe dugout.

Wesley Madhevere also contributed with the bat scoring a well-directed half-century to guide his team close to the target.

As the game progressed and death overs came, the table turned down for Zimbabwe. Shaheen Shah Afridi started his new spell and damaged the opposition to a whole new extent. He first took the wicket of well set Brandon Taylor(112 off 117) and then dismissed Tendai Chisoro(5 off 6) and Carl Mumba(1 off 3) in quick succession.

Wahab Riyaz also showed his skills by dismissing Sean Williams (4 off 14), Wesley Madhevere( 55 off 61), Sikandar Raza (8 off 7) and Blessing Muzarbani(5 off 6).

For Pakistan, Harris Sohail scored 71 off 82 while opener Imam-Ul-Haq scored 58 off 75 before he gets run out. Abid Ali contributed with 21 runs in 30 balls. 

A lot of expectations were from Debutant Skipper of Pakistan, Babar Azam but this wasn’t the right matchup for him. He was dismissed by Muzarabani before he could do some damage to Zimbabwe. Babar Azam scored 19 runs of 18 deliveries.

Muzarabani took 2 crucial wickets of Babar Amaz and Faheem Ashraf, while Tendai Chiroso also took 2 wickets of wicket-keeper Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed. Mumba and Raza took one wicket each to restrict the Pakistani side to 281 – 8 in 50 overs.

Post Match Presentation:

Brendan Taylor | Player of the Match:

Brandon Taylor Pakistan vs Zimbabwe
Brandon Taylor (Pakistan vs Zimbabwe) (Image – PCB)

I just tried to bat deep and build some partnerships which we did. But their skill level at the death made it very difficult for us. I feel very lucky to get this, Shaheen should get it (MoM award). Tried to scrape it through, but they were too good in the end. He (Wesley Madhevere) is a new kid on the block, he’s 20 years old, bowls well, bats well, incredible fielder, bright future and lovely kid as well. The wicket had a bit of pace in it when they hit the shiny side. We were up against four very good seam bowlers, you have to be on your game to come up against them. Unfortunately, we were a little bit shot. Too many of them (centuries) in losing causes, I would like to get team over once in a while. It’s always good to get a hundred for your country. I gave it everything and came up short.

Chamu Chibhabha | Zimbabwe captain:

Bit frustrating. We did everything right except getting over the line. BT batted really well. The Pakistan bowlers bowled very well to put us under pressure towards the end, credit to their bowlers. The wicket was a bit tacky and it was hard for the Pakistan openers upfront. Our bowlers did well, hit the right areas, put the Pakistani batters under pressure. We let it slip a bit towards the ends but we did well to restrict them to 281. (Takeaways from this game) Brendan’s 100 and the way Wesley played was brilliant, he’s a good prospect for Zimbabwe cricket. We need to find a way to get over the line. It’s more of a psychological thing. It’s not about coming out and hitting more balls in the nets, it’s just a psychological thing … the belief that we can do it.

Babar Azam | Pakistan skipper:

We were expecting that it would be a close game. Taylor batted really well and we knew it would be challenging. Very happy with the win, we will reflect on where we went wrong today and come back strong in the next game. The batters know the conditions and we couldn’t finish well and didn’t post the target we had in mind. The ball comes on nicely under lights and the first innings was slightly two-paced and our batters didn’t really adjust to the conditions well. Both (Shaheen and Wahab) were outstanding today, they bowled well with the new ball and bowled well at the death too. The plan is to give chances to youngsters and utilise them as much as we can. In the next few games there could be a few changes in the team.