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Thursday Apr 22 2021
Sports Desk

Pak vs Zim: Had to work hard for victory in first T20, says Babar Azam

Sports Desk
Pakistan captain Babar Azam. File photo
  • Babar Azam praises Mohammad Rizwan, Usman Qadir and Mohammad Hasnain for playing key role in first win.
  • Mohammad Rizwan says conditions in Zimbabwe are are difficult.
  • The second and third match will also be played in Harare on Friday and Sunday.

HARARE: After narrowly winning the opening match of the T20I series, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam on Wednesday said that the team had to work hard for the victory against Zimbabwe.

Talking to the media after the match, the Pakistan captain acknowledged Mohammad Rizwan, Usman Qadir and Mohammad Hasnain, who performed well and helped the team win the first T20 in difficult.

"Had someone stayed a little longer with Mohammad Rizwan, we might have set a better target for the opponents,” said Azam.

Match report

Earlier, Rizwan hit a fighting 82 while leg-spinner Qadir grabbed three wickets as Pakistan edged out Zimbabwe by 11 runs at the Harare Sports Club.

Pakistan managed 149-7 in their 20 overs with their in-form wicketkeeper-batsman Rizwan anchoring the innings after they were sent in to bat.

Zimbabwe looked threatening at 77-2 in the tenth over but Qadir (3-29) and pacer Hasnain (2-27) kept them to 138-7 in the allotted 20 overs.

Zimbabwe needed 20 off the last over but fast bowler Haris Rauf kept tight length to concede just eight to pull off a hard-earned win, helping Pakistan to 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

The second and third match will also be played in Harare on Friday and Sunday.

Luke Jongwe top-scored with a 23-ball 30 not out which included three boundaries and a six while opener Tinashe Kamunhukamwe scored 29.

Pakistan started the innings on the wrong foot when their world-famous batsman Babar Azam fell in the second over, playing a casual shot into the hands of a cover fielder for just two.

Rizwan added two solid stands of 34 each with Fakhar Zaman (13) and debutant Danish Aziz (15) but senior batsman Mohammad Hafeez (five) and Haider Ali (five) failed.

Zimbabwe could have had more wickets had they not dropped four catches, the most costly was of Rizwan when on just 13.

Rizwan, who cracked ten boundaries and a six off 61 balls, smashed 20 off the final Richard Ngarava over to take Pakistan to a fighting total.

Part-tim spinner Wesley Madhevere (2-11) and seamer Jongwe (2-24) were Zimbabwe´s successful bowlers.