Ahmed spins Pakistan to win over Zimbabwe

·2-min read

Offspinner Iftikhar Ahmed's maiden five-wicket haul earned Pakistan a convincing six-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the second one-day international.

The 30-year-old Ahmed took 5-40 on Sunday as Zimbabwe were bowled out for 206 in 45 overs after the visitors had won the toss and opted to bat.

Pakistan romped to 4-208 with more than 14 overs to spare and took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Captain Babar Azam led the chase with an unbeaten 77 off 74 balls and raised the victory with a straight six off spinner Wesley Madhevere in the 36th over.

Imam-ul-Haq missed out on a second successive half century before being dismissed for 49.

Left-arm spinner Tendai Chisoro, who won a successful caught behind decision against Imam through television referral, finished with 2-49.

The last ODI will be played on Tuesday before both teams meet in a three-match Twenty20 series, also at the Pindi Cricket Stadium.

"It was wonderful to see Iftikhar taking five wickets as we need such a bowler, who can also bat," said Pakistan bowling coach Waqar Younis.

"Iftikhar was included in the team today as the sixth bowler and once the other spinner Imad (Wasim) didn't have a good day, it was heartening to see Iftikhar bowling so well."

The left-arm spinner Wasim was expensive with figures of 1-43 off his five overs.

Brendan Taylor's fighting 112 couldn't prevent Zimbabwe from losing by 26 runs in the first match and, once again, when he was dismissed for 36 on Sunday in the 26th over, the visitors struggled and lost their last seven wickets for 86.

Taylor seemed to have revived Zimbabwe's innings with a 61-run fourth-wicket stand with top-scorer Sean Williams (75) and guided his team to 120-3 by the half-way mark before Ahmed struck repeatedly at regular intervals.

The three-match ODI series is part of the new World Cup Super League. Seven of the 13 teams in the league will directly qualify for the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India.

Sunday also marked Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar's record-breaking 210th ODI as the 52-year-old surpassed South Africa's Rudi Koertzen's record of supervising in most one-day internationals.