Shaheen Afridi took five wickets as Pakistan fended off a Zimbabwe side who were almost propelled to a shock ODI victory by Brendan Taylor.

Pakistan landed a 26-run victory in the first game of a three-match ODI series, the first step for both teams on the road to the 2023 World Cup, inflicting on Zimbabwe their 500th international defeat.

The home side posted 281-8 before bowling out Zimbabwe for 255, but the visitors had been firmly in the hunt until wicketkeeper-batsman Taylor fell for a battling 112 to the penultimate ball of the 47th over. He had earlier taken three catches and played his part in a run out.

It was Shaheen who ended his stay on the way to figures of 5-49, while fellow left-arm paceman Wahab Riaz also claimed a priceless 4-41, wrapping up the win by bowling last man Blessing Muzarabani.

Babar Azam, in his first ODI as Pakistan captain, was able to celebrate a hard-fought success - a seventh in a row for the team.

Pakistan's innings was built on half-centuries from opener Imam-ul-Haq (58) and Haris Sohail (71), but wickets fell at such regular intervals that there was no defining partnership. Indeed, the opening pair of Imam and Abid Ali put on more than any other pair. 

Imad Wasim clubbed a pair of late sixes late in the innings on his way to an unbeaten 34 from 26 balls, but Zimbabwe were still in the game. 

Shaheen accounted for openers Brian Chari and Chamu Chibhabha, bowling both to leave Zimbabwe wobbling on 28-2 in reply, but Craig Ervine (41) and Taylor put on 71 for the third wicket, and it was game on when Taylor and Wesley Madhevere produced a century stand for the fifth. 

Yet losing Madhevere (55) early in the 46th over was a major blow, with Wahab disrupting the established partnership and giving Pakistan the breakthrough they craved. 

Taylor was next to go, top-edging to Wahab at mid-off, and the Zimbabwe lower order was blown away, along with the prospect of a tight finish. 

It meant a success for Pakistan in their first ODI since October 2019, and in the first such match played at Rawalpindi since 2006. 

Having lost 17 of their previous 18 ODIs in Pakistan, it was a largely predictable outcome for Zimbabwe, with the teams due back in action in the second match of this series on Sunday.

Pakistan will be expected to continue their ODI winning streak when Babar Azam's reign starts with a three-match series against Zimbabwe on Friday.

Babar will take charge of his country for the first time in the 50-over format at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, where all three matches will be staged, after succeeding Sarfraz Ahmed.

Chamu Chibhabha has been charged with the task of leading Zimbabwe when ODI cricket returns to Rawalpindi for the first time since 2006.

No fans will be allowed in for the first internationals to take place in Pakistan since the coronavirus outbreak ground sport to a halt. 

Pakistan have their sights set on maximum points in the ICC World Cricket Super League as they bid to secure automatic qualification for the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India.

We use Opta data to preview the series, which will see Douglas Hondo take over as head coach of the tourists after Lalchand Rajput opted against making the trip.

- This is set to be the 13th multi-game men's bilateral ODI series between the two nations. Pakistan have won 11 of those and the other was drawn.

- Pakistan have won 52 of their 57 completed ODIs versus Zimbabwe (T1 L4) and they are on a six-game winning run against them in the 50-over format.

- Zimbabwe have suffered 17 defeats in their 18 ODIs in Pakistan (W1); they have lost both contests at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

- The tourists are playing their first international in Pakistan since May 2015. They have not been victorious in any game in the country since recording a seven-wicket Test win back in 1998.

- Pakistan have put together a six-game winning ODI streak. They lost 13 times in 14 matches before this run.

- Zimbabwe are one shy of a 500th international defeat. The tourists have only managed to win 168 games, drawing 28 and securing a tie in nine.

- Fakhar Zaman has scored 515 runs in five ODI innings versus Zimbabwe, averaging 257.5. That is the best rate ever recorded by a batsman against a single opponent in men's ODI cricket (minimum 400 runs).

- No bowler claimed more wickets than Faheem Ashraf (nine) when Pakistan took on Zimbabwe in their last ODI bilateral series, picking those scalps up for just 67 runs.

Cameron Green could be set to make his Australia debut after being named in the ODI and Twenty20 squads to face India.

The talented all-rounder, 21, was included in an 18-man squad named on Thursday.

Green is the leading run-scorer in this season's Sheffield Shield with 264 at an average of 132 for Western Australia, while he averages 27.83 with the bat and 34.42 with the ball in nine domestic 50-over matches.

Moises Henriques has also been recalled, while Mitchell Marsh has missed out after dealing with an ankle injury.

"Moises is a tremendous cricketer with loads of experience and is a great person to have around the group," Australia national selector Trevor Hohns said.

"His form was extremely impressive in leading the [Sydney] Sixers to the BBL title last summer and he has played well at the start of this season.

"Similarly, Cameron's domestic form has been outstanding and he has carried it through for Western Australia this summer. As a potential player of the future this is an opportunity for him to be part of the squad and build on his experience."

Australia's three-match ODI series against India is set to begin in Sydney on November 27, before the teams do battle in three T20s at the start of December.

Australia: Aaron Finch, Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Rohit Sharma has not been included in any of India's squads for the tour to Australia due to injury, joining Ishant Sharma on the sidelines.

Batsman Rohit suffered a hamstring injury during the ongoing Indian Premier League season, and it is unclear if he will play again in the 2020 edition for Mumbai Indians.

Ishant, meanwhile, has not featured at all in the IPL due to an abdominal muscle issue, though the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) added the duo will continue to be monitored.

The Test party does include uncapped paceman Mohammed Siraj, as well as left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav.

KL Rahul, who is vice-captain for the one-day and Twenty20 squads, is recalled for Test duty. His previous outing in the longest format was against West Indies over a year ago, though the right-handed batsman has been in superb form for King's XI Punjab in the IPL.

Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant are selected as the wicketkeepers for the four-match series, though the latter has been left out of the white-ball squads.

Virat Kohli will captain India in all three formats, with the schedule for the trip still to be officially confirmed.

The BCCI also announced that four additional bowlers – Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kartik Tyagi, Ishan Porel and T Natarajan – will travel.

 

Test squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj.

ODI squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (vice-captain), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.

T20 squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (vice-captain), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy.

In his brief senior career to date, Shimron Hetmyer has demonstrated that he is a talented batsman. However, on paper his figures have not been flattering.

India legend Kapil Dev is recovering in hospital after undergoing heart surgery.

Dev, one of the great all-rounders, was taken to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in New Delhi in the early hours of Friday morning after complaining of chest pain.

The 61-year-old, who captained India when they won the World Cup in1983, underwent an angioplasty and is expected to be discharged over the weekend.

A widely reported statement released by the hospital said: "Former Indian Cricket captain Kapil Dev, age 61 years, came to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute (Okhla Road) emergency department at 1:00 am on October 23 with a complaint of chest pain.

"He was evaluated and an emergency coronary Angioplasty was performed by Dr Atul Mathur, Director of Cardiology Department, in the middle of the night. Currently, he is admitted in ICU and under close supervision of Dr Atul Mathur and his team.

"Kapil Dev is stable now and he is expected to get discharged in a couple of days."

Support flooded in for Dev on social media, with the BCCI tweeting "Wishing the @therealkapildev a swift recovery. The nation is well aware of his grit and spirit and we are very sure he will be out of the hospital soon."

India captain Virat Kohli posted: "Praying for your speedy recovery. Get well soon paaji. @therealkapildev."

The legendary India batsman Sachin Tendulkar tweeted: "Take care @therealkapildev! Praying for your quick recovery. Get well soon Paaji."

Ravi Shastri, the India head coach and Dev's former team-mate, wrote: "Stay strong big brother. God bless."

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is considering an invitation to tour Pakistan in the early stages of 2021.

England have not travelled to Pakistan since 2005 but have been offered the chance to play white-ball games - reportedly three Twenty20 fixtures - in January.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) agreed to play fixtures on English soil earlier this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, the two nations facing each other in a three-Test series followed by a trio of T20 contests while staying in bio-secure bubbles.

England's schedule for the coming months is still unclear due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, with tours to Sri Lanka and India yet to be confirmed.

Security concerns following the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore put a stop to teams visiting Pakistan, though international cricket has slowly begun to return to the country.

"We welcome the fact that international cricket is returning to Pakistan and are committed to doing what we can to help this develop further," a statement from the ECB read.

"As with any proposed tour that takes place at this time, the safety and welfare of our players and staff is paramount.

"As such, there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration, including the proposed protocols in relation to COVID-19 bio-secure bubbles, the proposed levels of security around the team, as well as the feasibility of undertaking this tour against the backdrop of an already busy schedule of international cricket for the England men's team.

"We will be liaising with the PCB, as well as other partners, over the coming weeks to work through these considerations, before a final decision will be taken in due course."

Misbah-ul-Haq is to step down as Pakistan chief selector to focus on his role as head coach.

Former Pakistan captain Misbah was appointed as head coach and chief selector in September 2019.

The 46-year-old will continue to carry out selection responsibilities until a new chief selector starts work on December 1.

Misbah's decision to concentrate solely on his coaching role may have come as a result of the introduction of a new Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) code of ethics, which was ratified in July.

That code aims to put greater emphasis on resolving issues of conflict of interest.

Misbah told PCB chief executive Wasim Khan in Islamabad last week during the National T20 Cup that he no longer wishes to head up the selection panel.

He said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed the dual roles but after reviewing the past 12 months and looking ahead at the workload in the next 24 months of my tenure, it is appropriate that I invest and dedicate all my time, energy and attention to one role from now on.

"Coaching is my passion and my ultimate objective remains to contribute to the development of players and help the side achieve bigger successes. When I was appointed last year, I was offered the coaching role first and then given the option to also head the selection committee, which I had graciously accepted.

"I am grateful to the Pakistan Cricket Board for their understanding and for supporting my thought process."

Cricket Australia (CA) has announced the one-off Test against Afghanistan and the ODI series against New Zealand have been postponed due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Australia were due to face Afghanistan in the longest format for the first time in Perth in November, but that one-off game will not go ahead as planned. 

The rescheduled IPL season - which is due to finish in early November - created issues over Australian players quarantining upon their return from the Twenty20 tournament in the United Arab Emirates. 

New Zealand's limited-overs tour in January 2021 has also been called off amid "the challenges around international travel and quarantine restrictions" caused by the global health pandemic. 

CA hopes to find new dates for the fixtures in the coming years, with the postponements meaning India will be the only international side to visit Australia during the 2020-21 season.

"Cricket Australia looks forward to working with our good friends at the Afghanistan Cricket Board and New Zealand Cricket to deliver the matches at a time when, hopefully, the restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have eased," CA's interim CEO Nick Hockley said in a statement.

"We all worked incredibly hard to make the series happen this summer, but the challenges around international travel and quarantine restrictions ultimately convinced all parties that the series would need to be played at a later date.

"CA looks forward to welcoming the Indian men's team for a full schedule of matches this summer in what promises to be an incredible contest across all three formats.

"CA would also like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful partners for their understanding and support as we have navigated the complexities of hosting international sport during a pandemic to deliver a thrilling summer across men's and women's cricket at international and domestic level."

Australia are due to face India in a four-Test series, as well as three one-dayers and a trio of Twenty20 fixtures. Details over the schedule are yet to be confirmed.

Glenn Maxwell said he had "freedom" to attack after delivering a stunning century to guide Australia past England in the third ODI.

With Australia chasing 303 for victory in Manchester on Wednesday, Maxwell arrived at the crease with the tourists reeling at 73-5 in the series decider.

But Maxwell (108 off 90 balls) and Alex Carey (106 off 114) combined for a 212-run partnership as Australia reached the target with two balls to spare.

Maxwell, who scored his second ODI century and first since 2015, said he felt free to play his aggressive game with Australia in such a poor position.

"I was probably thinking that we haven't got much to lose so I had a bit of freedom I suppose to try and take the bowling on and put a bit more pressure on them," he told reporters.

"I thought if I could make the most of that short boundary as much as I could early on and just back my bat swing. There was a fair bit of a breeze heading that way as well so I just tried to get it up in the air and I was able to get a couple pretty clean early on in the innings and then hopefully start to build a partnership with Alex.

"I knew once I started to get into the innings they would start to bowl a bit differently to me and I might be able to cash in on some loose balls, but everything pretty much went to plan.

"The way our partnership built was outstanding so it was good fun out there and I'm really happy to get that result."

Jonny Bairstow's 112 had earlier helped England to 302-7 after they elected to bat first at Old Trafford.

England captain Eoin Morgan accepted Australia were simply too good for his side.

"We were still in the game. When you break big partnerships and the ball is offering a bit, you're never out of the game," he said.

"But Australia were too good for us … we were right in the game but Carey and Maxwell played outstandingly well."

Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey scored magnificent centuries as Australia claimed a three-wicket victory over England in a thrilling ODI series decider at Old Trafford.

Australia had been reduced to 73-5 in response to England's 302-7 and looked to be on the brink of defeat, but they were rescued by their highest-ever ODI sixth-wicket partnership of 212.

Maxwell hit seven maximums as he racked up 108 runs from 90 balls – his highest score in the 50-over format – while Carey added 106 for his maiden ton.

Both players were dismissed as part of a dramatic finale, but Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins got the 10 runs required from the final over as the tourists won with just two balls to spare.

Earlier, an astonishing start to Wednesday's play saw England lose Jason Roy and Joe Root in the first two deliveries of the day, as Starc set about dismantling England's top order.

Yet Jonny Bairstow (112) led a superb counter-attack that had not only given the hosts a fighting chance, but put Australia on the back foot.

Chris Woakes and Root took two wickets apiece in the early stages of Australia's reply as England took control.

But Maxwell and Carey's heroics flipped the script and meant it was Australia who won 2-1, avenging their loss by the same scoreline in the trio of T20I matches.

Australia suffered another batting collapse as England fought back from the brink to draw level in their ODI series with a brilliant 24-run victory at Old Trafford.

Eoin Morgan's side came back in thrilling fashion in the opening Twenty20 against Australia earlier in September, and the tourists snatched defeat from what looked set at one point to be a comfortable triumph in Manchester.

Four wickets – one from Jofra Archer (3-34) and three from Chris Woakes (3-32) – in a fantastic five-over spell in the middle of Australia's innings reduced Justin Langer's side from 142-2 to 147-6.

Australia's collapse came on the back of a strong start from Aaron Finch (73), whose side had ripped through England's top order after Morgan elected to bat first.

Adam Zampa (3-36) was the pick of Australia's bowling attack, which had England on the ropes until a stand of 76 between Tom Curran (37) and Adil Rashid (35 not out) helped the hosts finish on 231-9.

Yet despite Finch and Marnus Labuschagne (48) looked to be ticking Australia towards a series win, England rallied – Sam Curran (3-35) wrapping up the victory after Woakes and Archer dismantled the tourists' middle-order.

 

England captain Eoin Morgan conceded his side's poor batting display in the opening 10 overs ultimately cost them in the first ODI against Australia.

Australia earned a 19-run triumph at Old Trafford on Friday, as England failed to hunt down what would have been a record ODI run chase of 295 for the Manchester venue.

Jason Roy and Joe Root both fell in the first 10 overs, while Morgan and Jos Buttler struggled.

Jonny Bairstow and Sam Billings, who scored his maiden ODI century, offered some gallant resistance, but it was not enough to stop Australia – who had Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell to thank – taking the lead in the three-match series.

"It probably got away from us in the first 10 overs with the bat," Morgan told Sky Sports.

"They bowled outstandingly well, they didn't give us much to get away with.

"I thought we did a reasonable job with the ball, a reasonable score we could chase down with a few partnerships.

"Jonny and Sam, keeping us in the game so long, if we could have extended that partnership past the 40th over we could really have been in an commanding position, but full credit to Australia, they outplayed us today.

"I think they did well. You can always be greedy and want more, but I think we did well too. An area of our game we're looking to improve is taking wickets early and we did that. To be in that position was great. An outstanding performance would have been to continue to take wickets but we didn't."

Billings has made the most of a chance to shine in England's white-ball series this year and capped a fine individual display with an outstanding 118. 

Morgan said of the Kent batsman: "Sam's opportunities over the last four years have been extremely limited and sporadic at times, but to come in and still show hunger and desire in his training and then to come in and get his maiden one-day hundred today is outstanding. It shows a lot of resilience and a lot of character.

"When Ben Stokes is missing he leaves a big hole and we tend to have a lot of players vying for places who bat in the top four for their county.

"So batting at six is an area we need to improve our depth and Sam has added to that today."

Australia took first blood in their ODI series with England as Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell and Josh Hazlewood shone in a 19-run win at Old Trafford, where Sam Billings' maiden international century was in vain.

Without Steve Smith – who suffered a blow to the head in training on Thursday – Australia still managed to set a target of 295, leaving England facing a record run chase in an ODI at Old Trafford to secure victory.

Marsh (73) and Maxwell (77) were in superb form with the bat, with their century stand taking the tourists from 123-5 to 249-6.

Maxwell eventually succumbed to an excellent ball from Jofra Archer, who had dismissed David Warner (6) with a magnificent delivery early on.

Marsh was pinned lbw by Mark Wood as Australia lost late wickets, though hosts England were then reeling at 57-4 in the 17th over of their reply, with Hazlewood (3-26) in fine fettle.

Jonny Bairstow (84) and Billings (118) took the fight back to Australia, yet England ultimately fell short on 275-9 as the world champions succumbed to a second defeat from the last three 50-over meetings with their great rivals.

Archer's wicked bowling sent Warner's stumps flying in the fourth over, and Wood had Aaron Finch (16) walking soon after when Australia's captain clipped an edge to Jos Buttler.

Wood and Buttler combined again to dismiss Marcus Stoinis for 43 in the 16th over, with Adil Rashid dismissing Marnus Labuschagne (21) lbw soon after.

Alex Carey fared little better against Rashid four overs later, yet Marsh and Maxwell steadied the innings.

While Marsh ticked over, Maxwell wasted little time in getting into his stride, and moved to 50 two balls after hitting Rashid for a huge six over midwicket.

Archer was the recipient of similar treatment for back-to-back sixes in the 44th over, yet he had his revenge the next ball when Maxwell dragged a slower delivery onto his stumps.

Pat Cummins (9) fell in Archer's next over, with Wood sending Marsh back to the pavilion and Chris Woakes dismissing Alex Zampa (5), before Mitchell Starc hit a six from the last ball of the innings as Australia finished on 264-9.

Hazlewood started impressively with the ball, taking a wonderful one-handed catch to dismiss Jason Roy (3) from his own bowling in the fourth over, and the paceman had his second wicket when Joe Root edged to Carey on one.

Two fours and a big six from Eoin Morgan (23) got England back on track, though the home captain soon picked out Maxwell from a Zampa delivery.

Zampa had a second wicket when Labuschagne took a smart catch to dismiss Buttler, and it was then that Bairstow and Billings began to unleash some thumping shots.

Bairstow, after hitting four fours and four sixes, was out in the 36th over – Hazlewood racing around in the outfield to take a fantastic diving catch – with Moeen Ali following quickly.

With Billings still in, England had hope, and despite losing Woakes and Rashid, he played some inventive shots as he moved beyond 100.

However, with 28 needed from the final over, England did not have enough fire-power – Marsh having the final say as he ended Billings' defiance to wrap up an impressive win.

Former England batsman Ian Bell is to retire from professional cricket at the end of the season.

Bell is regarded as one of England's classiest batsmen of his generation, scoring 7,727 runs in 118 Test matches and 5,416 in 161 ODIs.

The 38-year-old last played for his country in 2015 and will call it quits at the end of the campaign with Warwickshire, where he made his debut in 1999 as a 17-year-old.

"My body simply can't keep up with the demands of the game to the standard of which I expect of myself," Bell wrote on Twitter.

"It's true when they say you know when the time's right, and unfortunately, my time is now.

"To have been part of an England Test team to reach number one in the world, to win five Ashes series, one of them as player of the series, and an away series in India is some return for a young lad who simply dreamt of batting at Edgbaston.

"Thank you to all the cricket fans for the most unbelievable support I've had throughout my career."

Toe and knee injuries meant he missed much of last season and Bell is now aiming to pursue a career in coaching.

His 13,331 international runs are the fourth highest among English batsmen, while he scored 22 international centuries.

For Warwickshire, Bell has over 20,000 first-class runs with a high score of 262 not out and almost 14,000 in limited-overs cricket.

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