PAKISTAN romped to victory against Zimbabwe in the first ODI at Queen’s Sports Club, Bulawayo, pummelling the hosts by 201 runs yesterday.
It was their first win of the year, but on the evidence of the gulf in ability between these two sides, it appears inevitable they will add four more in the next ten days or so.
A career-best 128 from opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq helped Pakistan amass 308.
It was plenty against the Zimbabweans, who didn’t at any point look like either keeping in touch with the run rate or knitting together a partnership.t
While some of the weaknesses were papered over by Solomon Mire’s brilliance in the T20I tri-series, they stood well and truly exposed yesterday.
Debutant Ryan Murray was, if you were particularly determined in looking for a positive, unbeaten on 32 by the time the innings wrapped up for 107, but only one other batsman crossed 20.
It was a feeding frenzy for Pakistan’s bowlers, Usman Shinwari beginning the bloodbath with two early wickets, while Shadab walked away with career-best four for 32 to seal Pakistan’s fifth biggest win in ODI history.
It wouldn’t be remiss to give the Zimbabwean bowlers some credit for that, though.
The opening pair was excellent with the new ball, Blessing Muzarabani and Tendai Chatara maintaining a steady off stump line that repeatedly threatened to draw Imam’s outside edge.
When Fakhar Zaman and Imam did begin to accelerate slightly, Zimbabwe looked short on ideas as to how they would be contained.
They brought on 18-year old offspinner and captain of the Under-19 Zimbabwean team Liam Roche, a debutant with a pleasing high arm action and a mop of hair almost just as eye-catching.
And he struck the big blow in the 25th over, removing Fakhar with a sharp catch off his own bowling to claim his first international wicket.
Meanwhile, the legal representatives of former Zimbabwe coach Heath Streak, batting coach Lance Klusener and fitness trainer Sean Bell have said a settlement with Zimbabwe Cricket has not yet been reached.
Gerald Mlotshwa of Titan Law, who is representing the trio, said their offer for a settlement had not yet received a response from ZC bosses.
The three are challenging their dismissal as unlawful and the non-payment of their salaries and wages.
‘’For the record, the correspondence quoted in the article, dating back to 9th of June 2018, had not, as at date of article, been responded to by Zimbabwe Cricket’s Legal Practitioners,’’ Mlotshwa said in a letter.
‘’We have since, rather and ironically, conveniently been furnished with Zimbabwe Cricket’s response, through their lawyers, dated 9th July, 2018, and received by ourselves this 12th instant that . . .
’’we have forwarded letter (sic) dated 9th June 2018 to client. Therefore, once we receive feedback, we shall revert with a substantive response.’
‘’Additionally, we have received a Notification to Party to Attend Proceedings before Zhakata J on the 19th July, 2018, at 11am.’’ — Cricinfo/Sports Reporter