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Azhar Ali scores century as Pakistan win second ODI series against Zimbabwe

Azhar Ali scores century as Pakistan win second ODI series against Zimbabwe
LAHORE: Thank stick glossy screen by hitting the side especially captain Azhar Ali, who scored a 104-ball 102, Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by six wickets in the second ODI, winning the three-match series 2-0 .

Zimbabwe had set a target of 269 respectable run for Pakistan courtesy brilliant unbeaten century by all-rounder Sikanadar Raza Gaddafi Stadium here Friday.

Pakistan-born Raza had completed his century on the fourth ball of the last over in just 84 deliveries with 8 legs and three sixes.

Everyone from Pakistani side contributed with the bat that the team crossed the winning line in 47.2 overs and only four wickets down.

Azhar Ali, who shot “Man of the Match” award for his century, today has also played an important innings in the first victory of Pakistan on the visitors on Tuesday.

“It was a complete team effort,” said Ali. “This is a good win but we have a long way to go as a team,” he added.

Today’s victory over Zimbabwe is the first of a series of Pakistan day in 17 months.

Last day series win in Pakistan was against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates in December 2013.

Azhar hit eight boundaries in his 104-ball knock and improved his best score of 101 – made against Bangladesh in Dhaka last month – before falling with 69 needed to win.

Haris Sohail made 49-ball 52 with six fours and Shoaib Malik scored 20-ball 36 with four boundaries and six to seal victory in their fifth wicket unbroken stand of 60 work.

Ali set the tone of victory by adding 46 for the first wicket with Sarfraz Ahmed (22), 85 for the third wicket with Asad Shafiq (39) and 56 for the next with Sohail.

The visitors had posted total of 268 for the loss of 7 wickets. Chibhabha opens with 99,100 deliveries outside was the other leading batsman in the sleeves of Zimbabwe.

Best result in 100-ball career the kick Chibhabha had 11 fours and a six after Pakistan won the toss and chose to field at the Stade Gaddafi.

Pacer Wahab Riaz and leg-spinner Yasir Shah took 2 wickets each, while Anwar Ali, Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik shared a wicket each for Pakistan.

Raza was in brilliant form as he raised the total Zimbabwe with a flurry of boundaries, getting 59 points in the last six acquisitions.

This came after Chibhabha became the first Zimbabwean batsman to be dismissed for 99 in a one-day international.

Before Chibhabha three Zimbabwean batsmen – Malcolm Waller, Alistair Campbell and Andy Flower – all made 99 in a day for Zimbabwe, but all remained not.

Zimbabwe, forced to make four changes after their regular captain Elton Chigumbura was suspended for two games over slower rate in the previous game, received a solid start but slow 83 by Vusi Sibanda and Chibhabha (13).

Hamilton Masakadza, leading the team to Chigumbura’s absence, fell for 18 when he was found caught in the slip, but television replays showed that the ball hit his arm.

“The guys tried hard with Raza and Chibhabha come good but we were 20-30 runs short,” said Masakadza.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah dismissed Masakadza and Sean Williams (five) to finish with 2-40 in his ten overs.

Chibhabha, whose previous best score of a day of 73 came against the West Indies at Harare in 2007, which promised well for his hundred, but was caught behind off a miscued sweep on the bowling of spinner Shoaib Malik.

Raza then lifted the tempo with some big shots, taking 17 off Mohammad Sami’s 48th over before reaching his second one-day hundred in the final over.

Pakistan has made no changes from the side that won the first match by 41 runs Tuesday, also in Lahore.

Massive security remained in place with 4,000 police guarding the stadium at all matches.

Zimbabwe’s visit has rekindled international cricket to Pakistan after a gap of six years. International cricket has been suspended in Pakistan since the terrorist attacks on the bus of the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in March 2009.

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