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HARARE: Pakistan will be looking to continue their impressive form in T20 cricket when they face Australia in the second match of the tri-series today. It cruised to a 74-run win on Sunday over their hosts in the opening match of the Zimbabwe T20 Tri-Series.
Australia will be facing an in-form Pakistan side who completed their eighth consecutive T20I victory after thumping Zimbabwe by 74 runs in the series opener.
Meanwhile, Sarfaraz Ahmed’s side is now looking to hunt down the record of 11-straight wins held by Afghanistan.
Nonetheless, a career-best 61 from opening batsman Fakhar Zaman, and a late flurry of boundaries from Asif Ali and veteran batsman Shoaib Malik set up Pakistan’s imposing 182 for four.
In response, Zimbabwe gathered just 108 all out, with the wickets shared around by Pakistan’s bowling attack. Mohammad Nawaz, Usman Khan, Mohammad Hafeez and Hasan Ali picked up two apiece.
Zaman’s efforts were contributed massively to Pakistan’s total. He kept Pakistan steady through the first half of their innings while Zimbabwe, having opted to bowl first, chipped away at the other end with regular strikes.
With Mohammad Hafeez, Hussain Talat, and captain Sarfraz Ahmed all falling cheaply, Pakistan were helped by Zaman’s fluent scoring at the other end, and he brought up his second T20I half-century from 33 deliveries with a flick through square leg in the 13th over.
For Zimbabwe, opener Solomon Mire fired in fits and starts to record a 29-ball 27, while Tarisai Musakanda cracked a busy 43 in his debut T20 innings.
However, there was little support from the rest of the top order, with Elton Chigumbura the only other batsman to reach double figures.
The Zimbabwean tail collapsed completely, the last four wickets falling for the addition of just six runs, with Hafeez taking two for three in his first over in international cricket since his bowling action was cleared as legal last month.
Pakistan squad for Triangular Series:
Fakhar Zaman, Muhammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Sarfraz Ahmad (captain/wicketkeeper), Harris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Muhammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hassan Ali, Muhammad Amir, Usman Khan Shinwari, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Sahibzada Farhan.