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Iftikhar Ahmed, Babar Azam set up dominant win

Pak v Zim, 2nd ODI, report

Hit For Six!

Pakistan eased to a seven-wicket win in the second ODI in Rawalpindi to go second on the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League table, as well as secure a series victory.


Iftikhar Ahmed claimed his best-ever List A figures of 5/40 as he led the home attack in a convincing display with the ball. After electing to bat first, Zimbabwe captain Chamu Chibhabha was the first to fall as he edged an attempted cut shot through to Mohammad Rizwan to become Haris Rauf's first ODI wicket. Musa Khan, on ODI debut, then forced Craig Ervine to drag on to pick up his maiden international wicket.

Faheem Ashraf ended Brian Chari's innings with a short ball before the opener could really get going, bringing together Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams. The experienced duo put together a 61-run partnership before Taylor, who scored 112 in the first match, holed out to deep square leg to become Iftikhar's first victim.

Wesley Madhevere could only score 10 before he was also caught in the deep off Iftikhar, and Sikandar Raza fell in the spinner's next over, chipping a simple return catch. Iftikhar, whose previous best figures in List A cricket were 3/3, then pinned Tendai Chisoro in front as the left-hander attempted a sweep to take his tally to four for the innings. In the final over of his spell, Iftikhar dismissed Williams, whose 75 had provided the backbone to Zimbabwe's innings, to end with 5/40 from his 10 overs.

Carl Mumba and Blessing Muzarabani added some late runs, with the latter hitting the wicketless Shaheen Afridi for a six, before Imad Wasim and Musa returned to polish off the innings, with Zimbabwe finally all out for 206.

Pakistan's chase got off to an excellent start thanks to Imam-ul-Haq and Abid Ali, with the pair adding 68 runs together in the opening Powerplay. Abid fell to the first ball after the fielding restrictions were relaxed though, hitting Chisoro's first ball hard but straight into the hands of short cover. Imam continued to score freely until, on 49, he feathered a catch behind down the leg side to give Chisoro his second.

Haider Ali, making his ODI debut, hit a pair of imperious leg-side sixes in his 29 before Sean Williams trapped him leg before, and Sikandar Raza had Rizwan bowled behind his legs to leave Pakistan four down. Skipper Babar Azam though ensured there was no real drama, as he scored fluently to pass fifty before finishing the chase off with a six down the ground with nearly 15 overs to spare.

The win puts Pakistan above Australia on the Cricket World Cup Super League table by virtue of a superior net run rate, and also seals a series win with a game to spare. The sides meet at the same venue for the third and final ODI on Tuesday, 3 November.

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