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Ryan Burl, bowlers power Zimbabwe A to edge Pakistan Shaheens

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HARARE: Middle-order batter Ryan Burl played a fighting 69-run knock before Tendai Chatara’s five-for lifted Zimbabwe A to edge Pakistan Shaheens by 24 runs in the first one-day of the six-match series here on Wednesday.

Pakistan Shaheens’ batting lineup faltered against Zimbabwe A bowlers and could raise 210 before bundling out in 47 overs despite Mubasir Khan’s gritty 49-run knock.

The touring side got off to a dismal start to the run chase as they lost three wickets for just 29 runs as Saim Ayub (8), Imran Butt (6) and Muhammad Huraira (3) could manage single-digits.

Following an early slump, Kamran Ghulam and Hussain Talat attempted to steady the sinking ship and anchored it by putting on a crucial 48-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

The pair appeared to have settled down and started to race up the run rate until Wellington Masakadza claimed a much-needed breakthrough for his side in the form of Talat’s prized wicket.

He scored 29 off 25 deliveries, hitting four boundaries and a six.

Kamran then partnered with Haseebullah Khan and could add 29 runs before Masakadza struck again to dent the visitors’ pursuit by removing the former.

He struck five boundaries on his way to a 63-ball 42.

Following Kamran’s dismissal, Mubasir Khan joined Haseebullah in the middle and the pair pushed their side closer to the total with a solid 60-run partnership.

When the pair looked in all sorts of control, Masakadza once again drew a breakthrough for his side as he removed Haseebullah, caught and bowled. The wicketkeeper batter scored 45 off 63 deliveries including five boundaries.

Mubasir, who was holding his ground firm, failed to make it all the way through as he succumbed in the 46th as Blessing Muzarabani castled him to put Zimbabwe A in command.

He remained the top-scorer for Pakistan Shaheens; scoring 49 in 68 balls and striking five boundaries.

Zimbabwe A’s pick of the bowlers, Chatara then made sure to wrap up a convincing victory for his side as he picked the last two wickets and completed his five-wicket haul.

He returned with brilliant figures of 5/37 while Masakadza claimed 3/32. Muzarabani and Wessly Madhevere picked up a wicket apiece.

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Put into bat first, Zimbabwe A batting lineup struggled against a disciplined Pakistan Shaheens’ bowling attack and were bundled out for 234 in the 46th over.

The hosts had a dismal start to their innings as they ran out half of their batters in just the 14th over with only 64 runs on the scoreboard.

Following the slump, Ryan Burl and wicketkeeper Clive Madane scripted an astounding recovery for their side as they stitched a gritty partnership for the sixth wicket.

The duo soaked in the pressure, exerted by the Pakistan bowlers, and added 90 runs to the total before Madane fell victim to Mehran Mumtaz in the 30th over. He scored 34 off 55 deliveries and hit three boundaries.

Burl then joined hands with skipper Wellington Masakadza and raised a further 39 runs to the total before Mir Hamza marked the end of the former’s gritty knock.

He top-scored for Zimbabwe A with a 68-ball 69 which featured six boundaries and two sixes.

Following Burl’s departure, skipper Masakadza took the reigns of Zimbabwe’s innings and put on a crucial partnership with Brad Evans before Mir Hamza removed him in the 42nd over.

Masakadza struck two boundaries on his way to a 41-ball 25.

Evans, on the other hand, attempted to stretch the innings with the batting tail until Shahnawaz Dahani castled him in the 46th over. He played a crucial 19-run knock.

For Pakistan Shaheens, Aamer Jamal led the bowling charge with 4/35, followed by Mir Hamza’s 3/37 while Dahani made two scalps.

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