Imam ul Haq made an assured 128 off 134 balls and was named MoM  © Getty Images
Imam ul Haq made an assured 128 off 134 balls and was named MoM © Getty Images

Zimbabwe fell apart in their chase of the target set by Pakistan which amounted to 309 in the allotted 50 overs. The former were all out for a paltry 107 and eventually lost by 201 runs. Young Pakistan leg spinner Shadab Khan bowled really well and contributed heavily in Zimbabwe’s decline with his figures of 4/32 in 9 overs.

Zimbabwe never were in the hunt as they lost wickets at regular intervals right from the start. Only Ryan Murray, the wicketkeeper batsman put up resistance of any sort with his 32*. The rest of the batsmen fell like a pack of cards. The bowlers other than Shadab Khan also had a good day on the field with everyone taking at least one wicket with the exception of Shoaib Malik who returned figures of 0-14 in 5 overs.

Earlier, Pakistan played some good old fashioned ODI cricket by posting a total of 308/7 in their 50 overs. The Pakistani openers started steadily with the pair of Imam ul Haq and Fakhar Zaman adding 113 runs in 24.2 overs when the latter got out for a well-compiled 60 off 70 balls. Imam reached a career best 128 and was named Man of the Match. He said in the post match presentations that the management had specifically instructed the openers to follow a strategy of building up the innings steadily. This made sense as there were a few clouds around in the morning and the Zimbabwean seamers could have posed a decent enough threat if the batsmen had adopted a cavalier approach – what with the possibility of edges flowing around. Debutant Asif Ali hit a rapid 46 in the middle overs to boost Pakistan’s total to 308 /7 in the final analysis.

This was the 5th biggest win for Pakistan in ODIs. The biggest win for them in ODIs was their 255 run victory over Ireland at Malahide in 2016.