Young Zimbabwean side’s battle against strong Pakistani side at home
Pakistan to win
Pakistan has started the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe on a winning note. The hosts who were expected to have an easy outing against the relatively young Zimbabwean side did face a scare during the latter’s chase but good bowling in the death overs helped them to a 26-run win in the game. The visitors have several things to work on before the next game to avoid losing the series in two straight games.
Zimbabwe has had a pretty ordinary record against Pakistan over the last decade. In the last 10 games played between the two sides Zimbabwe has managed only one win. Pakistan on the other hand has always enjoyed a great record at home and makes best use of the home conditions. They have a good fast bowling unit and it will be a huge challenge for Zimbabwe to win the next game.
Babar Azam would be happy with the way his side started the home series with a dominating win. Though the final result might make the game look close they dominated the game throughout barring few overs during Zimbabwe’s chase. Having taken an early lead Azam would like to go for the kill and pocket the series in two straight games.
All their batsmen got starts in the last game and this shows the kind of strength the side has in its batting. Abid Ali and Imam-ul-Haq would like to provide yet another good start to the side. Haris Sohail would be confident after his good knock in the last game and along with Azam and Mohammad Rizwan makes a formidable middle order. Iftikhar Ahjmed, Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim add depth to this batting line-up.
It was great display of fast bowling on a dead pitch by the Pakistani fast bowlers. Shaheen Afridi grabbed a fifer and he was well supported by Wahab Riaz who picked four wickets. Haris Rauf also bowled well with the new ball. With Imad Wasim and Faheem Ashraf getting good bargain out of the surface the side has a strong bowling unit to unsettle the Zimbabweans
Babar Azam (c), Abid Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf
Babar Azam, Abid Ali, Faheem Ashraf, SI Wasim, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Muhammad Musa, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Haider Ali, Imam-ul-Haq
Chamu Chibhabha, the new captain got his first taste of hard cricket in the hot seat. It was poor show from most of his players that resulted in the loss with individual sparks unable to take the side beyond the finishing line. Chibhabha would be aware of the fact that this side would need to come up with a team effort and he will be hopeful of better performance in the next game to level the series.
Brian Chari and Chibhabha failed in the last game at the top and they would be expected to provide the side with a good start in this game. Craig Erwin and Brendan Taylor played exceedingly well with the latter scoring a hundred that went in vain. Wesley Madhevere played a good knock but the side would need more contributions down the order from Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza considering the kind of bowling attack Pakistan has.
Their bowling looked ineffective for most parts and the side would need a good show from Richard Ngarava and Carl Mumba with the new ball. They have to strike early to unsettle Pakistan’s top order. Madhevere and Raza did bowl well and they will need to carry this momentum forward. The side has good depth in its bowling with Blessing Muzarabani and Tendai Chisoro in the side.
Chamu Chibhabha (c), Brendan Taylor (wk), Sean Williams, Brian Chari, Sikandar Raza, Craig Ervine, Wesley Madhevere, Carl Mumba, Tendai Chisoro, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava
Richard Ngarava, Chamu Chibhabha, Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza, Brian Chari, Tendai Chisoro, Blessing Muzarabani, Sean Williams, Wesley Madhevere, BRM Taylor, Carl Mumba
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||14||0 mm.||1.53 k/h||From: N||0%|
|03h||19||0 mm.||1.34 k/h||From: NNW||0%|
|06h||26||0 mm.||2.06 k/h||From: W||0%|
|09h||30||0 mm.||2.42 k/h||From: W||0%|
|12h||24||0 mm.||2.97 k/h||From: WNW||0%|
|15h||21||0 mm.||2.18 k/h||From: N||0%|
|18h||18||0 mm.||1.59 k/h||From: NE||0%|
|21h||17||0 mm.||1.66 k/h||From: ENE||0%|
The skies over Rawalpindi would be absolutely clear on November 01. The winter is setting in and hence it would be a nice warm afternoon. The wicket is expected to be flat where the ball would come on to the bat nicely and allow the batsmen to score easily. The side batting first would have to target a score in excess of 300 runs on this wicket.
Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium is known for high scoring games. The flat pitch and the fast outfield make it a paradise for the batsmen. Fast bowlers do well here when they are able to vary their line and length and spinners do get sharp turn from the surface as the game progresses especially in the second innings.
The pitch looked an absolute belter in the first game and the conditions remained the same throughout the two innings. The side batting first can easily put up a big score on the board and hence both the skippers should have no hesitation in opting to bat first on this wicket in the next game.
Zimbabwe would be under intense pressure as they go into this game after having lost the first one. Their batting line-up is looking in poor form barring few players and they would have to play well collectively to win this one. Pakistan on the other hand had almost all its bases covered in the last game. The only area for improvement is their bowling in the middle overs. With a stronger batting line-up and home advantage they would be favorites to win this game and take the series 2-0.
Pakistan to win