July 18, 2018 6:09:34 pm
Pakistan thrashed Zimbabwe by nine wickets after bowling out the home team for just 67 runs in the third one-day international on Wednesday to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
Seamer Faheem Ashraf picked up a career-best 5-22 and left-arm fast bowler Junaid Khan returned to the one-day team with 2-7 as Zimbabwe was bowled out in 25.1 overs.
Captain Hamilton Masakadza won his third successive toss, but Zimbabwe’s batsmen continued to struggle against Pakistan seamers.
Opener Fakhar Zaman, dropped on 2 at first slip, made an unbeaten 43 off 24 balls and took Pakistan to 69-1 in just 9.5 overs.
Blessing Mazurabani had Imam-ul-Haq caught behind off the very first ball with a superb bouncer before Zaman smashed the tall fast bowler for four boundaries in one over.
“A great performance,” Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said.
“Ashraf and Junaid bowl well … Ashraf getting better day by day, he is an allrounder and we need him. We will try to give opportunities to the other players in the next two games.”
Leg-spinner Yasir Shah, playing his first ODI in almost two years after recovering from hip surgery, bowled seven steady overs for just 10 runs and had No. 8 batsman Tendai Chisoro bowled round his legs.
Debutant opener Prince Masvaure, one of the four changes Zimbabwe made after losing the first two games by 201 runs and nine wickets respectively, was caught behind off fast bowler Usman Khan’s second delivery.
Junaid had the Zimbabwe captain caught at mid-off before Tarisai Musakanda was dismissed for zero while going for a needless pull shot off the left-armer.
Ashraf then hurried the middle-order collapse by claiming four wickets in four overs and wrapped up the innings by clean bowling last man Richard Ngarava.
“It was a bit of a disaster,” Masakadza said.
“We just tell the guys to stay positive and try to rectify the wrongs done today. It’s not easy to come back, though … hopefully, we come out firing next game.”
Mazurabani provided Zimbabwe something to smile about when he had Imam dismissed off the very first ball and could have removed Zaman but Masakadza dropped a sharp left-handed catch at first slip.
Zaman then wrapped up the series by smashing four boundaries off Mazurabani’s one over and then hit a winning four from Ngarava.
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