Rising star Haider Ali joined skipper Babar Azam for a match-winning 100-run partnership that ensured victory for the Men in Green
A clinical Pakistan side cruised to a convincing eight-wicket victory in the second Twenty20 International (T20I) against Zimbabwe to gain an unassailable 2-nil lead in the ongoing three-match T20I series at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi on Sunday.
Chasing a paltry target of 135 on a comfortable batting track, Pakistan lost opener Fakhar Zaman (5) early, who was caught by fielder Elton Chigumbura off the bowling of Blessing Muzarabani, after attempting an ill-advised slog to a rising delivery.
Rising star Haider Ali then joined skipper Babar Azam for a match-winning 100-run partnership that ensured victory for the Men in Green.
Babar was at his prolific best, driving all around the ground, enroute to a 51-run knock off just 28 deliveries.
Muzarabani finally got rid of Babar, who was caught by Chigumbura, towards the ending stages of the chase.
Batsman Khushdil Shah then joined Haider, who remained unbeaten after scoring 66 off 43 deliveries, to seal the victory for his side with 29 deliveries remaining.
Muzarabani was the only successful bowler in Zimbabwe’s bowling attack, picking up two wickets in four overs at the expense of 33 runs.
Earlier, Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam won the toss and elected to field first. Fast-bowler Haris Rauf responded well to the decision by removing Zimbabwe’s in-form opener Brendan Taylor (3), caught by wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, in the second over of the match.
Rauf then removed skipper Chamu Chibhabha (15), who was caught by all-rounder Faheem Ashraf, in his second over to pile on the pressure on the struggling Zimbabwe batting line-up.
Fast-bowler Faheem Ashraf joined the wicket-takers list after removing batsman Sean William’s (13) cheaply.
Leg-spinner Usman Qadir continued to impress in his second outing after getting rid of batsmen Wesley Madhevere (24), Sikandar Raza (7) and Elton Chigumbura (18) to take the wind out of Zimbabwe’s innings.
Batsman Ryan Burl tried to drag his side to a decent score and remained unbeaten on 32 runs off 22 deliveries to guide Zimbabwe to 134 for the loss of seven wickets in their allotted overs.
Qadir was the pick of the bowlers for the Men in Green after picking up three wickets in four overs at the expense of 23 runs.
Haider Ali was adjudged the player of the match after his superb knock with the bat.