Mutombodzi hat-trick in vain as Pakistan sneak home
Pakistan Under-19s 151 for 7 (Aziz 72*, Mutombodzi 3-20) beat Zimbabwe Under-19s 146 for 8 (Higgins 55*, Zambuko 34, Sana 3-28) by three wickets
A blazing unbeaten 72 by Rameez Aziz guided Pakistan to a three-wicket win in the first Twenty20 at St Johns College Ground. His knock overshadowed a hat-trick by the legspinner Tinotenda Mutombodzi, who had the visitors in a spot of bother in the middle overs chasing 147.
After opting to bat, Zimbabwe were lifted by a fourth-wicket stand of 63 between the captain Dylan Higgins and Mazvita Zambuko. Zambuko hit three sixes in his 27-ball 34 before falling victim to the legspinner Shahzaib Ahmed. Higgins continued to anchor the innings after the pair were separated in the 14th over. Higgins remained unbeaten on 55 and his knock featured three fours and two sixes.
Pakistan, in their reply, were comfortably placed at 68 for 2 in the 11th over before Mutombodzi's strikes jolted their progress. He bowled Babar Azam for 27 and then sent back Nasir Malik and Muzammil Nizam off consecutive deliveries in the same over. At 68 for 5, the home team had the opportunity to go for the kill but Aziz stood firm and took his team home with support from the lower order. His half-century included four fours and six sixes.
The teams will face off again for the second one-dayer in Harare on Sunday.