RAWALPINDI: Pakistan emerged victorious by 26 runs after Zimbabwe gave them a tough time in the first One-day International against Pakistan at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Friday.
Chasing 282, Zimbabwe were all out for 255 in 49.4 overs as fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi captured five wickets for 49 runs and veteran pacer Wahab Riaz claimed four for 41.
After a lethargic batting display saw the hosts post a modest 282-run target on a flat deck, Afridi gave Pakistan two early wickets.
However, Zimbabwe’s middle-order pairing of Brendan Taylor and Wesley Madhevere frustrated Pakistan and their 119-run partnership for the fifth wicket appeared to have taken the match away from Pakistan.
Taylor made 112 off 117 balls with eleven fours and three sixes for his 11th ODI hundred while Madhevere scored a 61-ball 55 with seven boundaries, his second fifty in his fourth ODI.
That changed when Riaz came back in the 46th over to dismiss Madhevere (55), and together with Afridi cleaned up the African tail.
Earlier, Pakistan managed to set a modest 282-run target for Zimbabwe despite opener Imam-ul-Haq (58 off 75) and Haris Sohail’s (71 off 82) super-slow innings in the middle-order that were more appropriate for Test cricket.