Lahore – Kanwal Khan:
The Pakistan cricket team has returned home from Harare on a chartered plane after completing a successful tour of Africa, where the green shorts won all the series they played against Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The Men in Green had left for South Africa on March 26 to play three ODIs and four T20Is. The Babar Azam-led team performed well against the Proteas and won in both the white-ball series.
In the second leg of the African tour, Pakistan played three T20Is and two Test matches against the Chevrons.
The Green Shirts survived the scare of losing the first T20 series against Zimbabwe when the Chevrons levelled the series by winning the second match.
However, Pakistan managed to beat Zimbabwe in the final match of the T20I series to clinch the series.
As far as the red-ball series is concerned, Pakistan outperformed their opponents and swept the series.
Skipper Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Hassan Ali, Abdi Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Azhar Ali and left-arm spinner Nauman Ali emerged as the stars of the African tour.
The Pakistani captain also grabbed the position of the No 1 ODI batsman after scoring back-to-back centuries against South Africa and played a key role in the series victory.
After leading his side to a whitewash over Zimbabwe, Azam broke another record by becoming the first Pakistani captain to win four opening Test matches.
He followed his two home Test wins against South Africa with victories by innings margins in Harare.
The number-one ranked ODI batsman will now have a chance to get back to his run-scoring form in red-ball cricket when he captains Pakistan against the West Indies (two Tests) and Bangladesh (two Tests) in August and September, respectively.
During the 2020-21 cricket calendar, Pakistan played nine Tests, six ODIs and 19 T20Is in the 10-month period under unprecedented Covid-19 restrictions and protocols.
The team has fared well in most instances, retaining its number four spot in the T20I rankings while managing to climb to the fifth spot in the Test rankings. Pakistan also presently occupies second place behind England on the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League; and has retained fourth position in the T20Is.