Qadir takes four as Pakistan sweeps T20 series

Pakistan thumped Zimbabwe by eight wickets in Elton Chigumbura’s farewell international match and swept the Twenty20 series 3-0.

Usman Qadir bowls during the third T20I against Zimbabwe in Rawalpindi.   -  AP Photo

Pakistan thumped Zimbabwe by eight wickets in Elton Chigumbura’s farewell international match and swept the Twenty20 series 3-0 on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old Chigumbura received a guard of honour from the Pakistan players when he came out to bat for the last time but that was the only goodwill offered by the home side.

Legspinner Usman Qadir took 4 for 13 and stunted Zimbabwe hopes of a challenging total at 129 for 9.

Pakistan raced to a winning 130 for 2 in only 15.2 overs against a listless Zimbabwe bowling attack.

Abdullah Shafiq, promoted on debut as an opener ahead of captain Babar Azam, went 41 not out, and Khushdil Shah, playing in his fourth T20, smashed 30 not out off 15 balls with three fours and three sixes.

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"You have to give a chance to youngsters,” Azam said. “Abdullah Shafiq really batted well ... (and) when my mate Usman Qadir performs, it makes me really happy.”

Opening batsman Fakhar Zaman’s poor run of form continued when he was out for 21, giving Milton Shumba his first wicket in T20s.

Earlier, Zimbabwe captain Chamu Chibhabha achieved his top score in the series of 31, but his teammates were outfoxed by Qadir’s googlies and sharp legspin.

Chibhabha and Brendan Taylor (8) smashed fast bowler Haris Rauf for 19 runs in the second over of the innings, but they couldn’t unravel Qadir.

Taylor holed out to the backward square leg boundary in Imad Wasim’s (2-27) first over, and Craig Ervine couldn’t cash in on his first opportunity in the series when Rauf returned in the powerplay and got the leading edge of the left-hander’s bat.

Chibhabha tried to be aggressive against Qadir but it cost him his wicket when he top-edged a pull shot and holed out in the deep.

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Qadir added two wickets in his third over when he had left-hander Shumba stumped on debut off a sharp googly and found the edge of Wesley Madhevere’s bat.

Qadir capped a brilliant spell off his last ball when wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan took a sharp catch down the legside to dismiss Chigumbura on 2 for his eighth wicket in his debut T20 series. Zimbabwe slipped to 87-7 in 14 overs.

Donald Tiripano (28) and Wellington Masakadza (11) shared the best stand of 33 runs off 19 balls which enabled Zimbabwe to cross the 100-run mark. Both fell in the penultimate over and Zimbabwe was restricted to its lowest total in the series.

Zimbabwe lost the preceding ODI series 2-1.

"Not quite the finish to the series we had wanted,” Chibhabha said, “(but) it’s good to see a few youngsters coming up.”

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