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Rizwan, Usman take Pakistan 1-0 up against Zimbabwe

From our correspondent

HARARE: Mohammad Rizwan and leggie Usman Qadir did well as Pakistan sealed an 11-run close win over Zimbabwe in their first clash of the three-match T20I series here at the Harare Sports Club on Wednesday.

At one stage, while needing 150, Zimbabwe were 77-2 but Mohammad Hafeez triggered the panic button for the hosts when he broke a 56-run threatening partnership for the third wicket between Craig Ervine (34) and opener Tinashe Kamunhukamwe (29) by removing the latter, stumped by Rizwan to spur the collapse as Zimbabwe lost four wickets inside 18 balls to leave for the lower order a tough task to handle.

Hafeez (1-21 in 4) before this match had bowled only one over in 14 T20I since 2018. Tinashe hit three fours from 35 balls while Ervine smacked three fours and one six from 23 balls.

Luke Jongwe in the end made a quick-fire 23-ball 30 not out, having hit three fours and one six but could not get his side cross the winning mark as they were restricted to 138-7 when Haris Rauf defended 20 runs in the final over. Usman Qadir got 3-29 while Mohammad Hasnain picked 2-27. Earlier, Mohammad Rizwan hit a 48-ball 82 not out to shepherd Pakistan single-handedly to 149-7. This was his fifth 50 plus in his last eight outings. Rizwan, who survived in the start, hammered ten fours and one six in his fine knock.

Debutant Danish Aziz (15) and Fakhar Zaman (13) were the other notable contributors. Luke Jongwe (2-24) and Wesley Madhevere (2-11) bowled well despite poor fielding from the hosts who dropped multiple catches.

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