Shaheen Afridi. (Source: Twitter)

Pakistan took a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe after beating the visitors by 26 runs in Rawalpindi.

Chasing 282, Zimbabwe were bowled out for 255. Brendan Taylor scored a hundred but it went in vain as Shahid Afridi ripped apart the Zimbabwean batting line up with a fifer.


Babar Azam | Pakistan skipper: We were expecting that it would be a close game. Taylor batted really well and we knew it would be challenging. Very happy with the win, we will reflect on where we went wrong today and come back strong in the next game. The batters know the conditions and we couldn’t finish well and didn’t post the target we had in mind. The ball comes on nicely under lights and the first innings was slightly two-paced and our batters didn’t really adjust to the conditions well. Both (Shaheen and Wahab) were outstanding today, they bowled well with the new ball and bowled well at the death too. The plan is to give chances to youngsters and utilise them as much as we can. In the next few games there could be a few changes in the team.

Chamu Chibhabha | Zimbabwe captain: Bit frustrating. We did everything right except getting over the line. BT batted really well. The Pakistan bowlers bowled very well to put us under pressure towards the end, credit to their bowlers. The wicket was a bit tacky and it was hard for the Pakistan openers upfront. Our bowlers did well, hit the right areas, put the Pakistani batters under pressure. We let it slip a bit towards the ends but we did well to restrict them to 281. (Takeaways from this game) Brendan’s 100 and the way Wesley played was brilliant, he’s a good prospect for Zimbabwe cricket. We need to find a way to get over the line. It’s more of a psychological thing. It’s not about coming out and hitting more balls in the nets, it’s just a psychological thing … the belief that we can do it.

Brendan Taylor | Player of the Match: I just tried to bat deep and build some partnerships which we did. But their skill level at the death made it very difficult for us. I feel very lucky to get this, Shaheen should get it (MoM award). Tried to scrape it through, but they were too good in the end. He (Wesley Madhevere) is a new kid on the block, he’s 20 years old, bowls well, bats well, incredible fielder, bright future and lovely kid as well. The wicket had a bit of pace in it when they hit the shiny side. We were up against four very good seam bowlers, you have to be on your game to come up against them. Unfortunately, we were a little bit shot. Too many of them (centuries) in losing causes, I would like to get team over once in a while. It’s always good to get a hundred for your country. I gave it everything and came up short.


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