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01-Nov-2020 14:00:00 GMT
Pak v Zim - 2nd ODI, Rawalpindi

Iftikhar five-for leads Pakistan to series win

Pakistan 208 for 4 (Babar Azam 77*, Imam-ul-Haq 49, Tendai Chisoro 2-49) beat Zimbabwe 206 (Sean Williams 75, Iftikhar Ahmed 5-40, Muhammad Musa 2-21) by six wickets

Rawalpindi: Spinner Iftikhar Ahmed grabbed a maiden five-wicket haul while Babar Azam notched a half-century as Pakistan thumped Zimbabwe by six wickets to win the second one-day international in Rawalpindi on Sunday.

Ahmed spun a web around Zimbabwe's batsmen with figures of 5-40 to wreck them for a paltry 206 before Azam knocked an attractive 74-ball 77 not out to chase down the target in 35.2 overs.

Zimbabwe needed early wickets, but a solid opening stand of 68 between Imam-ul-Haq (49) and Abid Ali (22) ensured Pakistan were set up nicely.

The win gives Pakistan an unassailable 2-0 lead after they won the first game by 26 runs on Friday. The final match is also at the same venue on Tuesday.

Left-arm spinner Tendai Chisoro (2-49) removed both the openers while Sean Williams dismissed debutant Haider Ali (29) but Azam and Ahmed (16 not out) completed the victory during their unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 46 runs.

Azam hit seven boundaries in his 16th ODI half-century, bringing up the victory with his second six.

It was 30-year-old Ahmed who rocked Zimbabwe after the tourists won the toss and opted to bat but could never cope with the spin and were bowled out in 45.1 overs.

Left-hander Williams, who top-scored with a 70-ball 75 and Brendan Taylor (36) were repairing the innings from 59-3 during a fourth-wicket stand of 61 before Ahmed struck.

Ahmed, who had only one wicket from his previous five ODIs, had Taylor caught off a miscued sweep at the boundary to start the slide, which saw tourists lose their last seven wickets for 86 runs.

Taylor, who made a fighting 112 in the first match on Friday, hit two sixes and three boundaries in his 45-ball knock.

Ahmed then removed Wesley Madhevere (10), Sikandar Raza (two) and Chisoro (seven) to leave Zimbabwe struggling at 150-7.

Williams, who completed his 32nd 50 off 47 balls, holed out to Ahmed at long-off, to end his lone fight. He smashed 10 boundaries and a six.

Debutant paceman Musa Khan finished with 2-21.

The series is part of the One-Day Super League, the first qualifying round for the 2023 World Cup to be held in India.

With Sunday's match, Pakistan's Aleem Dar set a new record for umpiring in most ODIs with 210, beating South African Rudi Coertzen's 209 matches as umpire.

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