Zim in poor start

BULAWAYO - The Zimbabwe cricket team got their ODI series against Pakistan to a bad start after they were bowled all out for a paltry 107 runs and lost by 201 runs in the opening match here yesterday.

Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq scored a career best 128 off 134 deliveries to help the visitors post a commanding 308 for 7 inside 50 overs.

The 22-year-old left-handed batsman, who was playing in only his fifth ODI, was duly named man-of-the-match following a knock that featured 11 boundaries.

Imam and his opening partner Fakhar Zaman (60) shared a first wicket partnership worth 113 runs.

The partnership was finally ended when debutant 18-year-old offspinner Liam Roche caught Zamam of his own bowling in the 25th over.

Imam was finally dismissed when he was caught by Tarisai Musakanda of the bowling of Blessing Muzarambi in the 46th over.

But by then, he had already done the damage with the bat to give his side a competitive score.

Babar Azam (30) and Shoaib Malik (22) also got good starts but were not able to convert them into huge scores.

Asif Ali scored a blistering 46 off 25 balls that ensured Pakistan passed the 300 mark before he was caught by Donald Tiripano off the bowling of Tendai Chatara.

Tiripano and Chatara were the pick of the Zimbabwe bowlers with two wickets each while Muzarabani, Roche and Wellington Masakadza picked up a single wicket each.

Zimbabwe’s chase got off to a worst possible start when opener Brian Chari was out in the second over when he caught by Zamam at midwicket off Usman Khan’s bowling after scoring only two runs.

Captain Hamilton Masakadza (7) was next out in the fourth over when the Zamam-Khan combination struck again.  

Musakanda scored 21 off  20 deliveries before he was out in the 11th over and Zimbabwe were now reeling four overs later when opener Chamu Chibhabha (20) when he was bowled out by Hasan Ali.

At that stage, the score was now 53 for 4 and getting to 100 looked like a tall order for the home side.

Another debutant Ryan Murray offered some brief resistance with a 32 not out but quickly ran out of partners as wickets continued fall at regular intervals.

Shadab Khan was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers with figures of four for 32 inside nine overs while Khan and Faheem Ashraf picked up two wickets each as Zimbabwe were bowled out inside 35 overs.

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