x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Shehzad shines in Pakistan's cricket win over Zimbabwe

Batsman hits highest international Twenty20 score by Pakistani, leading country to second win over Zimbabwe in two days at Harare Sports Club.

Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez, left, congratulates teammate Ahmed Shehzad on reaching 98 runs during the second and final Twenty20 international between Zimbabwe and Pakistan at the Harare Sports Club. Jekesai Njikizana / AFP
Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez, left, congratulates teammate Ahmed Shehzad on reaching 98 runs during the second and final Twenty20 international between Zimbabwe and Pakistan at the Harare Sports Club. Jekesai Njikizana / AFP
HARARE, Zimbabwe // Ahmed Shehzad hit the highest international Twenty20 score by a Pakistani, leading his country to a second win over Zimbabwe in two days at Harare Sports Club.
Shehzad smashed 98 to follow on from his 70 on Friday, which had set up Pakistan for a 25-run victory in the first game of the tour. On Saturday, he followed that up with 98 not out as the tourists clinched a 19-run win and 2-0 series sweep.
The right-hander struck six sixes en route to the highest score by a Pakistani batsman in the Twenty20 format, but missed an opportunity to reach three figures when he could only manage a single from the final ball of the innings.
After Pakistan finished on 179 for one, with captain Mohammad Hafeez unbeaten on 54 from 40 balls, Zimbabwe mustered 160 for six in reply.
"It's important to be consistent, I think, so I've been trying very hard to achieve that and it's paid off," Shehzad said.
"In the first six overs, I didn't get much strike and I could easily have had a panic attack, but as soon as the captain came in that changed."
Zimbabwe raced to 44 without loss in their first five overs, but the introduction of the spinners saw the home side strangled.
Zimbabwe's chase was dead in the water as they were left needing 71 from the final five overs with five wickets down.
"They got about 20 too many as our bowlers missed their mark a few too many times," captain Brendan Taylor said.
"They just outplayed us and they showed why they're a world-class team."
The two sides begin a three-match one-day international series at the same venue on Tuesday.
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