Luke Jongwe’s four-wicket haul helped Zimbabwe register their first-ever T2oI win over Pakistan as the visitors went down by 19 runs in Harare in the second match of the series. Pakistan bowlers had done well to keep Zimbabwe to just 118 but the visitors were all out for 99 in the final over.
Babar Azam made 41 while Danish Aziz chipped in with 22 but there was no real support for the Pakistan captain from the other batsmen. “It’s a very painful performance,” Azam said. “In South Africa, we had chased down 200; similarly here, we should have won this game comfortably. But unfortunately, we played poor cricket and continued to struggle in the middle order.
“Today, it was not just the middle order but our batsmen right through couldn’t perform the way we expect them to. It was a collective collapse and we lost as a group. But credit to Zimbabwe who came back so strongly today.”
Mohammad Rizwan’s 82 in the first T20I gave Pakistan a fighting total of 149 and helped them clinch a win by 11 runs. Pakistan made a slow start with the openers making 21 in the first five overs. They were, however, well placed at 56 for 2 in the 12th over. Babar’s wicket in the 16th over with the side needing 41 more put the lower order under pressure and they eventually crumbled. Azam acknowledged the batting unit should have done better. “The wicket was similar to the other day but it was suitable (for batsmen) and that is not an excuse anyway,” he stressed.
“As a professional, you adapt to every condition but I think we as openers didn’t give a good start from the top and then our middle order was struggling to step up. The World T20 is closing in and we have to sort this out as soon as possible. The next game we will come back and make a good combination.”
With the series tied, the two teams will now meet in the decider on Sunday. They will then play a two-Test series from April 29 at the same venue