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Zimbabwe beat Pakistan for first time in 15 years

Hamilton Masakadza led Zimbabwe’s victory efforts.

Hamilton Masakadza led Zimbabwe’s victory efforts.

HARARE – Zimbabwe claimed their first One-Day International win over Pakistan in 15 years after recording a comprehensive seven-wicket victory in Harare today.

Set a target of 245 to beat Pakistan for the first time since 1998, Zimbabwe knocked the runs off with 10 balls remaining as four of the home side’s top five batsmen all made significant contributions.

Man of the match Hamilton Masakadza (85) and Vusi Sibanda (54) set the platform with a first-wicket stand of 107 before both fell to the spin of Saeed Ajmal. Then captain Brendan Taylor (43 not out) and Sean Williams (39 not out) saw Zimbabwe over the finishing line with an unbroken 45-run partnership.

Williams ended the contest in style with a six off Mohammad Irfan as Zimbabwe took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Pakistan, who beat Zimbabwe 2-0 in the recent Twenty20 series between the two sides, made 244 for seven after winning the toss and choosing to bat first.

The bulk of their runs came from ODI captain Misbah-ul-Haq and T20 skipper Mohammad Hafeez, who both struck half-centuries at almost a run-a-ball.

Misbah top-scored with an unbeaten 83, hitting three fours and two sixes, and shared in a 99-run stand for the third wicket with Hafeez, who made 70 with six fours and three sixes.

Aside from the experienced duo, Pakistan openers Nasir Jamshed (27) and Ahmed Shehzad (24) were the only other players to make any notable headway as Zimbabwe’s bowlers largely kept the tourists in check.

Tendai Chatara was the pick of the Zimbabwe attack, dismissing Jamshed and Hafeez for impressive figures of two for 32 off his 10 overs, while Brian Vitori claimed two for 42.

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