Cricket

Pakistan vs Zimbabwe: Babar Azam's quickfire 82 leads hosts to six-wicket win in opening T20

  • Agence France-Presse
  • November 7th, 2020
  • 20:23:49 IST

Rawalpindi: Skipper Babar Azam smashed a robust half-century to lead Pakistan's six-wicket rout of Zimbabwe in the first Twenty20 international in Rawalpindi on Saturday.

Azam proved yet again why he is one of the top batsmen in white-ball cricket with an attractive 55-ball 82 to anchor Pakistan's chase of a modest 157-run target in 18.5 overs.

The win gives Pakistan a 1-0 lead in the three-match series and a 12th straight win over Zimbabwe in all Twenty20 international cricket.

Pakistan's Babar Azam in action against Zimbabwe. AP

Pakistan's Babar Azam in action against Zimbabwe. AP

Wesley Madhevere struck a maiden half-century to lead Zimbabwe to 156-6 after they won the toss and batted.

Azam, determined to regain his place as Twenty20's top batsman — which he lost to England's Dawid Malan two months ago — punched nine boundaries and a six during his 80-run stand for the third wicket with Mohammad Hafeez, who made 36.

Azam was finally caught in the 17th over, as was Hafeez in the 19th, but the target was never beyond Pakistan.

Paceman Blessing Muzarabani finished with 2-26.

Zimbabwe, who upset Pakistan in the third one-day international at the end of their 2-1 loss in the preceding series, were never able to stop Azam's free-flowing stroke-play despite dismissing Fakhar Zaman (19) and Haider Ali (seven) by the eighth over.

Earlier, Zimbabwe added 46 in the last five overs with Madhevere in the lead.

Madhevere, the 20-year-old right-hander, struck a 48-ball 70 not out with nine boundaries and a six to help Zimbabwe post a respectable total.

Madhevere, who had only four runs in his previous two Twenty20 appearances, added 34 runs for the sixth wicket with Elton Chigumbura, who made a 13-ball 21 with a six and two boundaries.

Sean Williams (25) and Brendan Taylor (20) were the other contributors.

For Pakistan, pacemen Haris Rauf and Wahab Riaz took two wickets apiece.

Pakistan gave a Twenty20 international debut to 27-year-old spinner Usman Qadir, son of the great Abdul Qadir, who died last year.

The teams will meet again at the same venue on Sunday and Tuesday.

Updated Date: November 07, 2020 20:23:49 IST

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

'Dream has come true': Babar Azam delighted on being made Pakistan's Test captain, says will take advice from predecessors
First Cricket News

'Dream has come true': Babar Azam delighted on being made Pakistan's Test captain, says will take advice from predecessors

Babar Azam replaced Azhar Ali as Test captain, just one year after PCB appointed the senior batsman to lead the Test side in place of Sarfaraz Ahmed.

New Zealand vs Pakistan: Babar Azam insists no disharmony in team ahead of first tour as all-formats skipper
First Cricket News

New Zealand vs Pakistan: Babar Azam insists no disharmony in team ahead of first tour as all-formats skipper

Talking to the media in Lahore, Babar dismissed a query whether there was uneasiness among players over his captaincy credentials.

PSL 2020: PCB chairman Ehsan Mani confident of hosting international teams after T20 league
First Cricket News

PSL 2020: PCB chairman Ehsan Mani confident of hosting international teams after T20 league

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani believes the successful and event-free conduct of Pakistan Super League 5 has enhanced the image of the country and exuded confidence of hosting more international teams next year.