Pakistan continued their dominance against depleted-looking Zimbabwe as they thrashed the hosts by nine wickets in the third One-day International – to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
It was a superb spell of bowling by Faheem Ashraf which restricted Zimbabwe to a paltry score of 69. And it was always going to be a walk in the park for the Men in Green when it came to the chase.
Eventually, they went onto win the match convincingly in the 10th over.
It was the Zimbabwean skipper Hamilton Masakadza yet again who won the toss and opted to bat. The hosts kept losing wickets at regular intervals and there was no way back for them in the match.
Usman Khan Shinwari and Junaid Khan provided the opening two breakthroughs for Pakistan. Their chances of recovery were jolted severely when they lost skipper Masakadza in the seventh over.
The flow of wickets never came to an end for the home team. They tried to resurrect the innings, but Ashraf, the medium pacer and an all-rounder ran through the Zimbabwe line-up with a superb five-wicket haul.
Only three batsmen crossed-past the double-figure mark. The top scorer for the hosts was Chamu Chibhaba with a score of 16 off 28 deliveries.
While Ashraf was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers, Junaid also chipped in with a couple. It was a great display of bowling by Pakistan which saw them restrict Zimbabwe to a way below-par total.
The chase was always going to a be a straightforward task for the Pakistanis. The man in-form Imam-ul-Haq was dismissed on the very first ball of the innings as Blessing Muzarabani induced an outside edge from his bat.
From there on, the duo of Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam ensured that Pakistan reached the target without any further hiccups.
Zaman smashed a few scorching drives to set his innings rolling. The southpaw’s unbeaten knock of 43 came in just 24 deliveries which included eight fours. Azam, on the other hand, played the second fiddle to perfection and remained unbeaten on 19 off 34 deliveries.
Zimbabwe 67 all-out in 25.1 overs (Chamu Chibhaba 16, Faheem Ashraf 5/22)
Pakistan 69/1 in 9.5 overs (Fakhar Zaman 43*, Blessing Muzarabani 1/42)
Pakistan won by 9 wickets (with 241 deliveries to spare)