Zim face uphill task in opening ODI

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Zimbabwe national cricket team have been set a mammoth 376-run victory target by hosts Pakistan in the first of three ODIs at Gaddafi stadium in Lahore.

Kevin Mapasure in Lahore Pakistan

The tourists’ bowlers toiled all day in sweltering tempereatures of around 42 degrees with the hosts plundering and piling on the runs from all areas of the field to keep their appreciative fans on their feet throughout the innings after Azhar Ali had won the toss.

Prosper Utseya ensured some success for Zimbabwe when he removed both openers Azhar Ali (79) and Mohhamed Hafeez (86), but it was not before they had both reached half centuries and set a perfect platform for Shoaib Malik and Haris Sohail who combined to a 201-run third wicket partnership that might have taken the match away from Zimbabwe.

Tinashe Panyangara took the wicket of centurion Shoaib Malik (112) with Hamilton Masakadza completing the catch.

Utseya retained the best figures for Zimbabwe with 2-63 while Brian Vitori had 0-77, Chris Mpofu 0-70, with spinners Sikandar Raza and Sean Williams shipping 43 and 42 runs respectively from five overs each.

Zimbabwe’s batting had received lots of praise coming into this match after their exploits in the T-20s.

They will be out to prove they deserve the respect they have been accorded in front of the full house.

Zimbabwe ; Vusi Sibanda, Hamilton Masakadza, , Sean Williams, Elton Chigumbura*, Sikandar Raza, Craig Ervine, Richmond Mutumbami, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori, Tinashe Panyangara and Chris Mpofu

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