Legspinner picks up 6 for 26 as Zimbabwe folds for 128 in 37 overs to lose first ODI by 131 runs
Yasir Shah, the legspinner, bagged career-best figures as Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by 131 runs in the first of three One-Day Internationals at the Harare Sports Club(October 1).
Set a target of 260 after a 124-run sixth wicket stand between Mohammad Rizwan and Imad Wasim had rescued the Pakistan innings, Zimbabwe was bowled out for 128 with Shah recording figures of 6 for 26.
Zimbabwe had gained the upper hand in the morning by winning the toss and reducing Pakistan to 128 for 5, before Rizwan and Wasim helped the visitor consolidate. Each scored a half-century at a run a ball on a dry surface, Rizwan finishing unbeaten on 75 and Wasim run out for 61 in the final over of the innings.
Zimbabwe tried to build the chase with a steady start, but Shah struck in his first and third overs before going on to run through the middle order.
Shoaib Malik also chipped in with his offspin, bagging three wickets as the Zimbabwean innings ended in the 37th over.
Zimbabwe started the day slowly but it sparked to life in the sixth over when John Nyumbu made up for a dropped catch by running out Azhar Ali with a direct hit.
From that point, Pakistan was reduced to 35 for 3 after 10 overs as Tinashe Panyangara and Luke Jongwe were rewarded for their persistence with the wickets of Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez respectively.
Sarfraz Ahmed and Malik resurrected the innings as they added 65 for the fourth wicket, before undoing their good work by running down the pitch at Zimbabwe’s spinners.
While Malik was bowled by a dipping Nyumbu delivery for 31, Sarfraz hit a Graeme Cremer delivery straight to deep midwicket to return to the hut for 44.
Fortunately for Pakistan, it had two middle-order batsmen in good form, with Rizwan and Wasim fresh from good outings in the Twenty20 International series, which the tourist won 2-0.
They seamlessly restored some stability to the Pakistan innings, before cashing in at the end as they hit 78 runs from the last eight overs.