Fakhar Zaman (File Photo) © AFP
Fakhar Zaman (File Photo) © AFP

Zimbabwe won the toss and opted to field in the first of five one-day internationals against Pakistan at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Friday. Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza had no hesitation in sticking Pakistan in to bat first on a pitch that traditionally aids seamers in the morning.

The Zimbabweans handed international debuts to wicketkeeper Ryan Murray and offspinner Liam Roche, while Asif Ali will make his ODI debut in Pakistan’s middle order. There was no space yet for leg spinner Yasir Shah in Pakistan’s line-up, however, with 19-year-old leg spinner Shadab Khan the only specialist slow bowler picked by Pakistan. Yasir missed Pakistan’s tour of England with a stress fracture. Top order batsman Babar Azam, who is also returning from an injury lay-off, was included while left handed opener Imam ul Haq returned to Pakistan’s starting XI.

Pakistan have made a steady start and were 97/0 in 21 overs when the last wires were received. Fakhar Zaman was playing on 50 not out off 57 balls and Imam-ul-Haq was playing on 46 off 71 deliveries.

England’s Ian Gould and Zimbabwean Langton Rusere will officiate in the match.

Squads

Zimbabwe: Chamu Chibhabha, Brian Chari, Hamilton Masakadza (capt), Tarisai Musakanda, Peter Moor, Ryan Murray (wk), Donald Tiripano, Liam Roche, Wellington Masakadza, Tendai Chatara, Blessing Muzarabani

Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam ul Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Usman Shinwari, Hasan Ali