Men in Green defeat African side by 74 runs in first T20I
Sarfraz Ahmed’s men showed the world that they really are the top T20I team in the world with a comprehensive 74-run win over Zimbabwe in the first match of the T20I tri-nation series at the Harare Sports Club on Sunday.
Pakistan set a target of 183 runs courtesy a brilliant batting performance by Fakhar Zaman, who made 61 and gave Pakistan a solid start, while Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali — the man of the match —ensured that Pakistan take the target out of reach of Zimbabwe.
The win gives Pakistan the first points in the tri-nation series with the Men in Green set to face Australia in the next match on Monday (July 2).
Australia have suffered of late in the shorter formats of the game and enter the series on the back of a 5-0 whitewash by England in the ODI series and a 28-run defeat in the one-off T20I match on the tour.
Their confidence is definitely shattered but that will give them more motivation to get back to winning ways against Pakistan, who are favourites to win the tri-nation series in Zimbabwe.
Despite the thrashing by England, Australia do boast an impressive record in T20Is with Aaron Finch’s side winning all of their matches this year till the England T20I.
Pakistan, on the other hand, are no pushovers themselves and recorded their eighth successive win in T20Is.
Pakistan rested Mohammad Amir in the first T20I against Zimbabwe, instead replacing him with Usman Khan, as Pakistan look to manage their pace spearhead’s game-time.
He will most likely feature against Australia as Pakistan seek to cement their place on top of the T20I rankings and also win the tri-nation T20I series.
Pakistan last 5 T20Is (latest first)
Australia last 5 T20Is (latest first)