In-form opening batsman Fakhar Zaman hit a fluent century as Pakistan demolished Zimbabwe by nine wickets in the second one-day international on Monday.
Zaman smashed 16 fours in scoring an unbeaten 117 off 129 balls and sprinted Pakistan to 195-1 in 36 overs against an inexperienced Zimbabwe bowling.
The left-hander survived two close chances when he could have been run out in the second over and then was dropped soon after completing his century.
Earlier, fast bowlers Usman Khan (4-36) and Hasan Ali (3-32) took the bulk of the wickets and dismissed Zimbabwe for 194 in 49.2 overs.
Captain Hamilton Masakadza (59), who won the toss and elected to bat, and Peter Moor (50) gave the total some respectability as the rest of the batsmen struggled against Pakistan’s seamers under overcast conditions.
“If you are in form, and you are giving your 100 percent, then the runs will come,” said Zaman. “Today I was trying to go till the end. I tried with Imam, he was unlucky, but I wanted to stay till the end.”
The opening pair of Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq (44) shared a second consecutive century stand in the series before Imam was run out while going for a quick single.
Both left-handers sealed the game with a 119-run stand off 124 balls and played some well-timed cut shots and drives on the off side.
Zaman reached his century off 109 balls when he nudged offspinner Wellington Maskadza to fine leg for two runs in the 32nd over.
Soon after Zaman completed his hundred, Tendai Chatara floored an easy catch at fine leg when the left-hander pulled seamer Donald Tiripano’s slower delivery.
Zaman and Babar Azam (29 not out) then hurried the run-chase by adding 76 runs for the second wicket stand as Zimbabwe trailed the five-match series 2-0.
Zimbabwe struggled at the top order continued when Usman removed both openers in his opening spell and then claimed two more wickets in his return spell.
Hamilton Masakadza and Tarisai Musakanda (24) tried to rebuild the innings with a 62-run stand.
The Zimbabwe captain hit five fours and two sixes before he holed out in the deep in the 28th over and Hasan ripped the middle-order with three wickets as Zimbabwe was bowled out with four balls to spare.
“Tough day in the office,” Hamilton Masakadza said.
“I got out the wrong time trying to up the game, but the target was never going to be enough.
“They’ve played our spinners really well, and with such a score, it was always going to be difficult for our bowlers. Hopefully we can put up a better performance, and make the series competitive.”
The third match of the series will be played on Wednesday.