First ODI: Imam stars as Pakistan thrashes Zimbabwe by 201 runs

BULAWAYO: Pakistan thrashed Zimbabwe by 201 runs in the first One-Day International (ODI) match of the Five match series being played at Bulawayo on Friday.

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Batting first Pakistan scored 308 runs in allotted 50 overs, courtesy career-best 128 from opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq. He was awarded Man of the match.

In response the host were all out all out on 107 runs in 35 overs in the chase of 309 runs.

Leg-spinner Shabad Khan took four wickets, Faheem Ashraf and Usman Khan Shinwari took two wickets each, while fast bowlers Muhammad Aamir and Hasan Ali took one wicket each.

Asif Ali did debut for Pakistan while Babar Azam came back from injury. He contributed 30 off 34 balls.

Pakistan have enjoyed unprecedented success in Twenty20 cricket this year, and solidified their number one ranking in the format with their victory over Australia in the tri-series final last weekend.

That has not been complemented by good form in ODIs, however, and they were thrashed 5-0 in their last bilateral one-day series, against New Zealand in January.

Zimbabwe are likely to present much less of a challenge, despite playing at home, and Pakistan´s primary target in the series opener on Friday will be to secure their first ODI win of 2018.

Teams:

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

Zimbabwe: Chibhabha, Chari, Hamilton Masakadza (capt), Musakanda, PJ Moor, Murray(wk), Tiripano, Roche, Wellington Masakadza, Chatara, Muzarabani.

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