ODI: Shaheen, Wahab bowl Pakistan to 1-0 lead over Zimbabwe

SUMMARY: Pakistan 281-8 in 50 overs (Haris Sohail 71, Imam ul Haq 58, Imad Wasim 34* Chisro 2-31) vs Zimbabwe 255 all out 49.4 overs (Brendon Taylor 112, Wesley Madhevere 55, Sean Ervine 41, Shaheen Shah Afridi 5-49, Wahab Riaz 4-41)

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Pacers Shaheen Shah Afridi and Wahab Riaz shared nine wickets to lead Pakistan to victory against Zimbabwe in the first ODI at the Rawalpindi Stadium on Friday. Pakistan, playing its first ODI since October last year, emerged winner by 26 runs.

The host made 281-8 after electing to bat first, but Zimbabwe came close to an upset win with veteran Brendon Taylor (112) scoring a superb hundred and youngster, Wesley Madhevere, rattling the home side in a century partnership.

Zimbabwe looked set for a shock win at 234-4 in the 45th over, but then Wahab (4-41) and Shaheen (5-49) ran amok sharing the remaining six wickets.

The 20-year-old Madhevere, with just three ODIs behind him, batted with assurance, hitting seven fours as he and Taylor (11x4s, 3x6s) put on 119 runs for the fifth wicket.

Taylor was picked up by Shaheen in the next over after Madhevere’s dismissal and Zimbabwe then lost their last five wickets for only 21 runs to be bowled out for 255 in the final over.

Taylor also put on 71 runs for the third wicket with Sean Ervine (41) after Shaheen had dismissed openers, Chari and skipper Chamu Chibhabha, quickly.

Earlier, Pakistan’s top order batsmen struggled with Haris Sohail top scoring with 71 from 82 balls with six fours and two sixes and opener, Imam ul Haq making 58 from 75 balls.

The Pakistani batsmen had some 150 dot balls in their innings.

Pakistan surprisingly opted to go in with just one spinner, packing its attack with pacers and giving a ODI cap to Haris Rauf who has earlier represented his country in T20 internationals.

The Pakistan innings got some impetus late when Faheem Ashraf (23 from 16 balls) and Imad Wasim (34 not out) played some big shots to pick up the scoring rate.

Imam found himself run out in a comical mix up with Haris Sohail with both batsmen running to the same end in the 26th over.

Zimbabwe playing its first intentional series since early this year dropped some chances, but overall it appeared to brush off its rustiness quickly. (Sportstar)

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