Zimbabwe defend 119-run target to level T20I series against Pakistan

Zimbabwe stunned Pakistan at the Harare Sports Club.
Zimbabwe stunned Pakistan at the Harare Sports Club.
Vinay Chhabria

Zimbabwe recorded their maiden T20I win against the Pakistan cricket team by defending a 119-run target at the Harare Sports Club. Luke Jongwe (4/18) was the hero for the home side as his four-wicket haul stunned the visitors.

Babar Azam won the toss and elected to field in the second T20I against Zimbabwe. The home team could not gain momentum in the first innings as none of their batsmen could touch the 35-run mark. Opener Tinashe Kamunuhukamwe was the top scorer with a 40-ball knock of 34 runs. All the Pakistani bowlers returned with decent figures.

Chasing 119, Pakistan started slowly. Skipper Babar Azam played a patient knock of 41 runs to take his team close to the target. However, none of the other Pakistani batsmen could get going in the middle. The likes of Fakhar Zaman (2), Mohammad Hafeez (5) and Asif Ali (1) struggled against the Zimbabwean bowlers.

Eventually, Pakistan lost all their wickets for just 99 runs. After this game, the 3-match series stands at 1-1 now.

Brief scores: Zimbabwe 118/9 (Tinashe Kamunuhukamwe 34, Regis Chakabva 18; Mohammad Hasnain 2/18, Danish Aziz 2/29) beat Pakistan 99 (Babar Azam 41, Danish Aziz 22; Luke Jongwe 4/18, Ryan Burl 2/21) by 19 runs.

After being forced to bat first in Harare, Zimbabwe lost veteran batsman Brendan Taylor (4) in just the fifth over. Tadiwanashe Marumani (13) and Tinashe Kamunuhukamwe stitched a 28-run partnership for the second wicket before Arshad Iqbal (1/16) dismissed Marumani.

Danish Aziz then picked up the wickets of Tinashe and Wesley Madhevere (16) in quick succession while Usman Qadir (1/28) sent Ryan Burl (3) back to the dressing room. Contributions from Regis Chakabva and Tarisai Musakanda (13) took Zimbabwe to 118/9 in 20 overs.

Zimbabwe snap their losing streak in T20Is against Pakistan with a fantastic bowling display

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan (13) started the innings cautiously, scoring 21 runs off 31 deliveries in their opening partnership. Luke Jongwe went on to dismiss Rizwan in the final over of the powerplay and Ryan Burl got the better of Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez not soon after.

Danish Aziz came in and tried to build a partnership with his skipper in the middle but the two Pakistani batsmen could not accelerate the innings. The visitors were 72/3 in 15 overs, with Babar and Danish settled in the middle. Jongwe was the man responsible for breaking the partnership by dismissing Azam with a slower delivery.

To make things worse for Pakistan, Asif Ali handed a catch to substitute fielder Donald Tiripano in the next over. Faheem Ashraf, who had shown his batting skills in the series against South Africa, could only manage two runs off five balls. Under the pressure of the required run rate, Aziz ended up getting run out.

Haris Rauf tried his best to avoid an upset, but it was Luke Jongwe and Zimbabwe's day. The African team now has an opportunity to seal the series by winning the final T20I on April 25th.

Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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