Shaheen, Wahab share 9 wickets as Pakistan down Zimbabwe in 1st ODI


Rawalpindi: The left-arm duo of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Wahab shared nine wickets together to hand Pakistan a comfortable win over Zimbabwe by 26 in the first ODI of the three-match series at Pindi Cricket Stadium.

The 20-year-old Shaheen finished with figures of 5-49 in his 10 overs while Wahab picked 4-51 in 9.4 overs.

Shaheen has become only the 2nd bowler in ODI history to take 15 wickets in space of three matches. First was Waqar Younis, who is the national team’s bowling coach currently.

Earlier Babar Azam won the toss and opted to bat first. Pacer Haris Rauf was handed his first ODI cap, becoming 225th to represent Pakistan in ODI cricket.

Fifties from opener Imam-ul-Haq and middle-order batsman Haris Sohail has guided Pakistan reach 281/8 in fifty overs.

Imam scored 58 off 75 balls while Haris made 71 off 82 balls. In the later part of the innings, Imad Wasim played a crucial of 34* whereas Faheem Ashraf made 23.

Openers Imam and Abid Ali provided a cautious start of 47. Abid Ali (21) was trapped in front of Carl Mumba in the 11th over. Babar started aggressively as he hit two fours in his innings.

However, it was not his day as he departed after scoring just 19. He got an outside edge of 6 ft 8 inch Blessing Muzarabani.

Later, Imam completed his eighth fifty of the career. He was departed due to a funny mix-up in the middle as both batsmen ended up at the same end. He got run-out in the 26th over.

Haris Sohail held one end and continued to find singles. Mohammad Rizwan (14) chopped his stumps while playing a slog. Soon after, Iftikhar (12) also edged one to the keeper Brendan Taylor off Tendai Chisoro.

When it was needed to accelerate the innings, Haris was removed by Sikandar Raza in the 42nd over. His innings included six fours and two sixes.

Faheem and Imad posted a 42-run stand for the seventh wicket, helping Pakistan to 281/8. For Zimbabwe, Muzarabani and Chisoro bagged two while Raza and Mumba took one each.

Set to chase 282, the visitors lost their first wicket in the first over. Brian Chari was completely outplayed by Shaheen’s inswinging delivery.

Later, in the fifth over, he removed captain Chamu Chibhabha in a similar fashion. Zimbabwe was struggling at 2/28.

Senior pros Craig Ervine and Brendan Taylor partnered for the third wicket to add crucial 71 runs. Ervine was dismissed as he went for reverse sweep off Imad, going straight in the hands of Rauf. In the 27th over, Wahab removed left-hander Sean Williams.

Then came Wesley Madhevere, who along with Taylor went on to take the game away from the hosts, as they posted 119 run-stand for the fifth wicket. Madhevere scored 55 while Brendan Taylor smacked his 11th century of the career.

Zimbabwe was cruising strongly, however, Wahab provided a major breakthrough for Pakistan by dismissing Madhevere in the 46th over.

Soon after his dismissal, Shaheen dismissed Taylor, who made 112 off 116 balls. His innings included eleven fours and three sixes. He was also awarded player of the match for his brilliant hundred.

The Chevrons were then wrapped up by Shaheen and Wahab, giving Pakistan an important victory as they registered their first points in the inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup Super League. It was also Pakistan’s seventh consecutive win in ODI cricket.

Both sides will now take each other in the second ODI of the series at the same venue.