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Wasim spins Pakistan to comfortable win

Left-armer takes 4 for 11 as visitor clinches low-scoring first T20I by 13 runs

Wasim spins Pakistan to comfortable win - Cricket News
Imad Wasim starred with four wickets to take Pakistan to a comfortable win in the first T20I against Zimbabwe
An astonishing spell of 4 for 11 from Imad Wasim gave Pakistan a comfortable 13-run victory in its first Twenty20 International against Zimbabwe in Harare on Sunday (September 27).
 
Zimbabwe's bowlers did well to restrict the visitor to 136 for 8 in 20 overs but its batsmen had no answers to Wasim's accurate left-arm spin and had reached 123 for 9 when it ran out of time.
 
Wasim set the tone in the very first over of the chase, getting past Chamu Chibhabha's defence with a quicker ball. All of Zimbabwe's top-order batsmen then got starts but none could withstand the pressure of disciplined bowling. Craig Ervine and Hamilton Masakadza steadied the innings for a brief while with a second-wicket stand of 26, but once the former was trapped leg before by Sohail Tanvir in the sixth over, the door was opened for Wasim to run through the middle order.
 
Wasim struck once each in his next three overs to as good as finish off the chase. His second wicket came when Sikandar Raza was adjudged leg before after dancing down the track and missing a straighter ball even as the wicketkeeper made a sharp stumping.  
 
Zimbabwe needed the experienced pair of Masakadza and Sean Williams to guide it out of trouble but both gave it away in quick succession. Masakadza lofted Wasim straight to long-on in the 10th over and Williams followed soon, being trapped in front attempting a reverse sweep, to leave Zimbabwe struggling at 66 for 5. 
 
Elton Chigumbura, the captain, fought on with a 28-ball 31 down the order and got the equation to 26 from two overs, but Wasim's strikes meant that it was a bridge too far for Zimbabwe.
 
Earlier, handy knocks from Shoaib Malik (35) and Mohammad Rizwan (33 not out) helped Pakistan recover from a precarious position. Opting to bat, Pakistan was in trouble early on when Chibabha struck thrice early, reducing the visitor to 29 for 3 in the sixth over.
 
Ahmed Shehzad, who started confidently with three fours, was the first to go when he was bowled missing an attempted drive in the fourth over. Just two balls later, Mukhtar Ahmed mistimed a lofted shot to long-on. 
 
The situation called for calmness but that was the last thing on Sohaib Maqsood's mind. Maqsood played a rather ugly swipe across the line and missed a straight ball from Chibhabha, leaving Pakistan with no momentum in the Power Play.
 
Umar Akmal and Malik then rebuilt with a 42-run partnership for the fourth wicket. The latter counter-attacked, taking Graeme Cremer for a massive six down the ground, but Zimbabwe's spinners remained in control with disciplined bowling in the middle overs. The pressure resulted in Akmal holing out to long-on in the 13th over and Malik followed soon when he missed a skidder from Williams. 
 
Pakistan was five down in the 15th over but Shahid Afridi held himself back, allowing Wasim and Rizwan to do the finishing duties. Rizwan struck a few big blows to take Pakistan past 130, before Wasim took over with the ball.
 
The second and final T20I also will be played in Harare, on September 29.

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