Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed lauds bowlers after crushing win over Zimbabwe in T20 tri-series opener

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Pakistan's bowlers were on song in their 74-run win over the hosts.

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed had plenty to celebrate after his side thumped Zimbabwe by 74 runs in the T20I tri-series opener at Harare on Sunday.

Sarfraz’s men won their eighth consecutive T20I clash as they garnered their 12th win in their last 13 outings. With the win over the hosts, Sarfraz took his tally of wins as Pakistan’s T20I skipper to 20 which is the most in the country’s history.

The astonishing fact is that the 20 wins have come in just 23 matches for the No1 ranked side in the world.

On Sunday, Fakhar Zaman scored a career-best 61 off 40 balls before late unbeaten cameos by Asif Ali (41) and Shoaib Malik helped Pakistan post 182-4 after being asked to bat first.

Pakistan's bowling attack proved to be too good for the hosts.

Pakistan’s bowling attack proved to be too good for the hosts.

In reply, the hosts were all out for just 108 runs with Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Usman Khan and Mohammad Hafeez picking up two wickets each.

“The way Zaman, Asif, and Malik did the job for us, it looked like a good batting pitch. The ball did not come on in the first innings, but in the second it came on nicely. Credit goes to the bowlers, especially Usman and Nawaz. Plenty of cricket to be played in the series. Hopefully, we will do well,” the victorious Pakistan skipper said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Sarfraz’s in-form men will now take on Australia in the second clash of the tri-series just 24 hours later on Monday.

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Zimbabwe T20 tri-series: Where and when to watch the matches in the UAE

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Zimbabwe host Australia and Pakistan for a T20 series. Image: Zimbabwe Cricket/Twitter.

Zimbabwe host Pakistan and Australia for a T20 tri-series which begins on Sunday. All matches of the tournament will be held on successive days at the Harare Sports Club.

Sarfraz Ahmed’s Pakistan will look to consolidate their position at the top of T20 rankings while Australia will be desperate to put their 6-0 thrashing across ODIs and T20s in England behind them.

Below is the schedule of the T20 tri-series in Zimbabwe. All times are for UAE with matches shown on TEN Cricket.

SCHEDULE:

July 1, 2018

12:00 (UAE time) Zimbabwe v Pakistan on TEN Cricket

July 2, 2018

12:00 Australia v Pakistan on TEN Cricket

July 3, 2018

12:00  Zimbabwe v Australia on TEN Cricket

July 4, 2018

12:00  Zimbabwe v Pakistan on TEN Cricket

July 5, 2018

12:00 Australia v Pakistan on TEN Cricket

July 6, 2018

12:00 Zimbabwe v Australia on TEN Cricket

July 8, 2018

12:00 Final on TEN Cricket

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Will Pakistan break Afghanistan's all-time record of consecutive T20I wins?

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Pakistan take on Zimbabwe in the opening match of the T20 tri-series on Sunday with the No1 spot in the ICC rankings on the line.

Pakistan, with 131 points, are on top of the ICC T20 rankings and can consolidate their position if they win all league games against Zimbabwe and Australia and also win the final.

A good performance in the tri-series is important for Pakistan as third-placed Australia will can overtake them if they win all their matches, plus the final.

Also, second-ranked India and fourth-ranked England clash in a three-match T20 series this week and if Pakistan and Australia slip up in Zimbabwe, one of India and England can claim the No1 ranking.

If that isn’t enough motivation for Pakistan to win all matches in the T20 tri-series, here is more. Pakistan are currently on a seven-match winning run in T20s. In fact, this is the second time they have won seven consecutive T20 matches after achieving the feat in 2009.

If Pakistan manage to win all four league games in the Zimbabwe tri-series and the final, they will break Afghanistan’s record of 11 straight T20 wins which is the most. Two teams – England and Ireland – have won eight consecutive T20 matches.

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