Iftikhar Ahmed and Babar Azam propel Pakistan to a clean win over Zimbabwe

Babar Azam played a captain’s knock.

Iftikhar Ahmed
Iftikhar Ahmed. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The second match of the three-match ODI series between Pakistan and Zimbabwe saw the action unfold at the Rawalpindi cricket stadium. Coming on the back of the comprehensive victory in the first match, Pakistan appeared to be brimming with confidence from the time they stepped into the cricketing field. Men in red were outplayed in all the departments in the first clash. However, Brendan Taylor stood out as the player of the match for his scintillating century against the tearaway pace attack spearheaded by Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Invited to bowl first, Pakistan went all guns blazing against the feeble top-order of the Zimbabwe cricket team. The opening pair-Brain Chari and Chamu Chibhabha could not play their role to perfection. Both of them had to show their back in the first 10 overs scoring 25 and 6 runs respectively. Coming in at 3, Craig Ervine also could not put his best foot forward. The experienced batsman was bowled out by Musa Khan after notching 3 runs.

As pressure mounted on the middle-order batsmen to showcase the propensity of poise and calm, the previous match superstar proved his mettle but not for too long. He was dismissed at the score of 36 runs after smashing 3 fours and 2 herculean sixes. At this stage, the experienced Sean Williams took over the innings with sheer elegance. Transferring the pressure on Pakistani bowlers, the 34-year-old scored a brilliant 75 runs with phenomenal 10 fours and 1 six. The southpaw took the score to 171 before he was caught by Shaheen Afridi at the boundary.

Eventually, the tailenders took over the onus from thereon and they got bundled out after posting an ordinary total of 206 runs with 29 balls to spare.

Babar Azam decimates the Zimbabwe bowling attack

In response, Pakistani openers Imam-ul-Haq and Abid Ali took the opposition bowlers on complete remand. Going wicketless for 68 runs, the stupendous batsmen stamped their authority over the 22 yards of the pitch with spectacular shots all around the field. Albeit, Imam was caught behind at 49 by Brendon, he left behind a sense of triumph on the pitch. Subsequently, it turned out to be a one-sided affair as Pakistan registered a comprehensive second win on the back of Babar Azam’s spectacular 77 unbeaten knock. Hence, he directed the team’s ship to a robust triumph.

The two teams will hit the floors again for the final showdown on 3rd November at the same stadium.

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