Pakistan 308/7 in 50 overs (Imam-ul-Haq 128, Fakhar Zaman 60; Tendai Chatara 2-49) vs Zimbabwe
In a classic case of going up the gears through an innings, Imam-ul-Haq scored his second ODI hundred as Pakistan posted a formidable 308 for 7 after being put in to bat in cold conditions at the Queens Sports Park in Bulawayo on Friday (July 13). Imam shared an opening-wicket stand of 113 with the in-form Fakhar Zaman (60 off 70) while debutant Asif Ali stroked a rapid 25-ball 46 to apply the finishing touches to the innings.
An under-strength Zimbabwe's decision to bowl was dictated by the overhead conditions and to that effect, both their new-ball bowlers, Tendai Chatara and Blessing Muzarabani, gave a good account of their abilities in the first spell.
Debutant spinner Liam Roche was good in parts but didn't possess the weapons to stop batsmen who were looking at the middle-overs as a means to lift the scoring rate. Roche managed some damage control, catching Zaman off his bowling but proceeded to leak four boundaries in an over to Babar Azam.
Imam continued to prosper but for another moment of weakness outside the off-stump against Muzarabani, which was put down by the other Zimbabwe debutant - 'keeper Ryan Murray. He reached his hundred off 109 balls and had struck nine fours in the process. Azam and Shoaib Malik were dismissed cheaply but Pakistan found another positive when their own ODI debutant Asif Ali struck four fours and a couple of sixes in an innings of 46. That final flourish also helped Pakistan cross the 300-run mark.
To chase down 309 is a tall order for this inexperienced Zimbabwe side.
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