The visitors put a relatively weak Zimbabwe side to the sword as they won the T20I Tri Series opener by 74 runs at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.
By SportBrief Reporter
The Chevrons are playing hosts to the series which includes Australia and Pakistan as they compete in an 8-day event, with each team playing four match apiece before the Final on 8th July.
Pakistan ultimately proved too good for a Zimbabwean side missing some of its regulars the likes of Sikanda Raza and Brendan Taylor (due to the ongoing salary issues with Zimbabwe Cricket) as they imposed themselves in the opening match in front of a Sunday crowd.
The hosts roped in debutants Tarisai Musakanda and John Nyumbu as well as giving Hamilton Masakadza the captain’s armband as they looked to close the vacuum created by some of their unavailable first team players.
Having won the toss and electing to field, the Chevrons quickly looked to gain control of the match when Kyle Javis removed danger man Mohamed Hafeez (7) and CJ Chibaba claimed the scalp of Hussain Talat (10) to leave the visitors at 44-2.
But Pakistan’s opening batsman, Fakhar Zaman, came out of the blocks with a blitz of an innings, scoring 61 runs off 40balls with 3 fours and as many sixes.
After a huge let-off when he was dropped by Kyle Jarvis at long-on at 50 off 33 balls, Fakhar, was very hard to contain. He found support in the form of Asif Ali, good compact player and a clean striker of the ball, who hit 41 off 21 balls of orthodox batting. His innings propelled Pakistan total to 182-4 and Player of the Match award.
In reply to an imposing Pakistan total, Zimbabwe failed to take advantage of powerplay overs and were grateful for debutante, Tarisai Musakanda, top-scorer with 43, for without his contribution, it would have been a pretty sorry scorecard.
Skipper Hamilton Masakadza (7), PJ Moor (2) and CJ Chibhabha (0) were among the experienced guys who failed to deliver for the Chevrons as they were eventually bowled out for 108 in 17.5 overs against a Pakistan bowling, that had both variety and depth, to retain its position as no.1 t20 side in the world.
It was clear for all to see that the absence of key players, due to their differences with Zimbabwe cricket Board, has severely depleted the home side as they looked out of sorts during the match.
Be that as it may, the Chevrons will have to quickly dust themselves off as their next match is against Australia on Tuesday. As for Pakistan, the win has no doubt given them some confidence ahead of their second match against the Aussies on Monday.