Spinner Iftikhar Ahmed grabbed a maiden five-wicket haul while Babar Azam notched a half-century as Pakistan thumped Zimbabwe by six wickets to win the second one-day international in Rawalpindi yesterday.
Ahmed spun a web around Zimbabwe’s batsmen with figures of 5-40 to wreck them for a paltry 206 before Azam knocked an attractive 74-ball 77 not out to chase down the target in 35.2 overs.
Zimbabwe needed early wickets, but a solid opening stand of 68 between Imam-ul-Haq (49) and Abid Ali (22) ensured Pakistan were set up nicely.
The win gives Pakistan an unassailable 2-0 lead after they won the first game by 26 runs on Friday. The final match is at the same venue tomorrow.
Left-arm spinner Tendai Chisoro (2-49) removed both the openers while Sean Williams dismissed debutant Haider Ali (29) but Azam and Ahmed (16 not out) completed the victory during their unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 46 runs.
Azam hit seven boundaries in his 16th ODI half-century, bringing up the victory with his second six. The series is part of the One-Day Super League, the first qualifying round for the 2023 World Cup to be held in India.
With yesterday’s match, Pakistan’s Aleem Dar set a new record for umpiring the most ODIs with 210, beating South African Rudi Koertzen’s 209 matches as umpire.
Dar already holds the record for officiating in the most Test matches, with 132.
The two teams will also play three Twenty20 internationals on November 7, 8 and 10, also in Rawalpindi.