For the 2nd time in succession, Pakistan made light work of Zimbabwe in the 2nd ODI at the Queens Park in Bulawayo, as they thrashed the African minnows by nine wickets to go 2-0 up in the five-match series.
It was always on the cards especially given the fact that Zimbabwe is missing quite a few mainstream players who are out of the series due to pay disputes over the board.
The victory for Pakistan was set up by fast bowlers, Usman Khan and Hasan Ali, as they bagged four and three wickets, respectively to restrict Zimbabwe to a below-par score of 194. With the bat in hand, Fakhar Zaman smashed a sensational century, as Pakistan romped home in the 36th over. It was a thoroughly professional performance by the men in Green.
It was the Zimbabwe skipper, Hamilton Masakadza who won the toss and opted to bat. Zimbabwe lost two wickets quite early. However, the skipper Masakadza and Tarisai Musakanda began the resurrecting job for the home team with a good partnership. They couldn’t quite keep going and lost wickets at a cluster yet again.
Masakadza and Peter Moors struck wonderful half-centuries. But Zimbabwe kept losing wickets on a consistent basis. The Pakistan pacers were quite brilliant in the death overs and never really allowed Zimbabwe to go after the big shots. Eventually, the home team was bowled out for just 194 in the final over. It was yet another ordinary display of batting by Zimbabwe.
Fakhar Zaman smashes a brilliant century
The visitors got off to a terrific start courtesy opening pair Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman. Imam who scored a fantastic century in the previous encounter carried on from where he left the other day. It was a great day for his partner Fakhar Zaman who smashed the Zimbabwe bowlers all around the park.
The southpaw went onto smash a brilliant century and remained unbeaten on 117 off 129 deliveries.
Imam, on the other hand, scored a fluent 44 off 51 deliveries which included four boundaries. The opening pair shared a huge partnership of 117 runs, and the job was almost done from there on. Babar Azam and Fakhar again shared an unbeaten 76 runs stand, as Pakistan chased the total down with 14 overs to spare.
Fakhar struck 16 fours during his unbeaten knock. Now the Men in Green will be looking to seal the series in the 3rd ODI. Their next step will be to enforce a whitewash on a relatively weakened Zimbabwe team.
Zimbabwe 194 all-out in 49.2 overs (Hamilton Masakadza 58, Peter Moors 50, Usman Khan 4/36, Hasan Ali 3/32)
Pakistan 195/1 in 36 overs (Fakhar Zaman 117*, Imam-ul-Haq 44)
Pakistan won by nine wickets (with 84 deliveries to spare)