RAWALPINDI: Skipper Babar Azam smashed a robust half-century to lead Pakistan’s six-wicket rout of Zimbabwe in the first Twenty20 international in Rawalpindi on Saturday.
Azam once again proved why he is one of the top batsmen in white ball cricket. He has attractive 55 goals and 82 goals to anchor Pakistan’s moderate goal of chasing 157 points in 18.5 points.
This victory gave Pakistan a 1-0 lead in a three-match series, beating Zimbabwe 12 consecutively in all Twenty20 international cricket matches.
Wesley Madhevere struck a maiden half-century to lead Zimbabwe to 156-6 after they won the toss and batted.
Azam is determined to regain his position and become the best hitter of the 1920s-he lost to England’s Dawid Malan two months ago-in the 80-point third wicket game In, he broke through nine boundaries and scored six points, the latter at 36 years old.
Azam and Hafeez were finally caught on the 17th on the 17th, but the goal never surpassed Pakistan.
Paceman Blessing Muzarabani ended in 2-26.
Zimbabwe, who upset Pakistan in the third one-day international at the end of their 2-1 loss in the preceding series, were never able to stop Azam’s free-flowing stroke play despite dismissing Fakhar Zaman (19) and Haider Ali (seven) by the eighth over.
Earlier, Zimbabwe had added 46 times in the last five games, and Madhevere led.
The 20-year-old right-handed Madhevere hit a 48 ball and 70 goals, without 9 boundaries, and 6 boundaries, helping Zimbabwe to get a considerable total.
Madhevere had only four runs in the first two Twenty20 appearances. He added 34 runs for the sixth wicket with Elton Chigumbura, who scored 21 goals with 13 and 21.
Sean Williams (25) and Brandan Taylor (20) were other contributors.
For Pakistan, pacemen Haris Rauf and Wahab Riaz took two wickets apiece.
Pakistan gave a Twenty20 international debut to 27-year-old spinner Usman Qadir, son of the great Abdul Qadir, who died last year.
The group will meet again at the same location on Sunday and Tuesday.