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Rizwan, Qadir guide Pakistan to victory against Zimbabwe

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Harare, April 21 (IANS) Mohammad Rizwan struck an unbeaten 82 and Usman Qadir took three wickets as Pakistan defeated Zimbabwe by 11 runs in the first of three-match T20I series at the Harare Sports Club on Wednesday.

After being set a 150-run winning target, Zimbabwe could only score 138 for 7 in the allotted 20 overs.

The hosts lost two wickets in the third over to right-arm fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain with 21 runs on the board. Tinashe Kamunhukamwe (29 off 35, three fours) and Craig Ervine (34 off 23, three fours, one six) knitted 56 runs for the third-wicket to help Zimbabwe stage a comeback.

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That Zimbabwe came close to Pakistan’s target was due mainly to the late onslaught from Luke Jongwe, who struck three fours and a six and returned unbeaten on 30 off 23 balls.

For Pakistan, leg-spinner Usman accounted for Ervine, Sean Williams (9) and Regis Chakabva (3) and ended up with the match figures of three for 29 in four overs. Hasnain took two for 27.

Earlier, after being put in to bat, Pakistan scored 149 for seven.

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Despite losing wickets at regular intervals, wicketkeeper-batsman Rizwan kept the scoreboard ticking as he struck his fifth T20 half century. Rizwan struck 10 fours and a six in his 61-ball knock.

He contributed 34 runs for the second wicket with Fakhar Zaman (13 off 14, two fours). Another 34 runs were added for the fourth wicket between debutant Danish Aziz (15) and Rizwan.

The two sides will play the second T20I at the same venue on Friday.

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Brief scores: Pakistan 149 for 7 in 20 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 82*; Wesley Madhevere 2-11, Luke Jongwe 2-24) bt Zimbabwe 138 for 7 in 20 overs (Craig Ervine 34, Luke Jongwe 30*, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe 29; Usman Qadir 3-29 Mohammad Hasnain 2-27) by 11 runs.

–IANS

akm/kh

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