Zimbabwe’s challenge to end 10-match losing spree in ODIs
Pakistan to win
The three-match ODI series has followed the script and after two games Pakistan has taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. Zimbabwe’s ODI team has had pretty rough ride over the last few years and there seems to be no respite from them in this series. They have been outplayed in both the games so far in all departments of the game and failed to put the hosts under any sort of pressure.
Zimbabwe has been poor tourists as far as playing in Pakistan is concerned. Since 1993 when they first played here the side has won just one game back in 1998. With most of their players having little experience playing against bigger sides it would be a herculean challenge for them to win this game. Pakistan has always carried the unpredictable tag and they would not want to do anything stupid and lose this game.
It has been two good days at the office for Babar Azam’s side where they haven’t been really tested by the visitors. The Pakistani skipper would be happy with the way his side has played so far in the series. They have tough tours coming up and the side would like to win this one and get into a positive frame of mind. With a series whitewash on the cards he would look for a similar show from his players and want them not to be complacent.
The new opening pair of Abid Ali and Imam-ul-Haq has provided good starts to the side in both the games so far and they will look to repeat it here in this game. Babar Azam played a good knock in the last game and the middle order looks formidable with Haider Ali, Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed in the side. Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim can bat well down the order and make like tough for the Zimbabwean bowlers.
Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf look impressive with the new ball and the side would look for early wickets from them in the next game. Iftikhar Ahmed grabbed five wickets in the last game and shall carry confidence into this one. Muhammad Musa and Ashraf bowling tight lines the side has a good attack going into this contest.
Babar Azam (c), Imam-ul-Haq, Abid Ali, Haider Ali, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Muhammad Musa, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi
Babar Azam, Khushdil Shah, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Hasnain, Muhammad Musa, Shaheen Afridi, Haider Ali, Imam-ul-Haq
Chamu Chibhabha’s team is no match for Pakistan on paper and they haven’t done anything exceptional on the field in the two games they have played so far. Their batsmen don’t look confident against quality pace and spin and their bowlers have hardly troubled the hosts. Chibhabha would look for a turnaround in the upcoming game and give Pakistan a run for its money.
Brian Chari and Chibhabha have thrown away their wickets and the side would require a good start from them in this game. The real strength of their batting is in the middle order with Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams in the side. These players have done well in the two games played so far. Wesley Madhevere and Sikandar Raza need to do well down the order as they haven’t contributed much in the two games.
Richard Ngarava and Carl Mumba must pick early wickets as they have allowed the Pakistanis to settle down. It is against the new ball that batsmen are most vulnerable in these conditions. Blessing Muzarabani has bowled ordinarily so far and needs to do well. Raza has troubled the hosts with his variety but he will need good support from Tendai Chisoro and Williams in this game.
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, Blessing Muzarabani, Wesley Madhevere, Donald Tiripano, BRM Taylor, Sean Williams, Tendai Chisoro
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||15||0 mm.||2.07 k/h||From: ENE||0%|
|03h||19||0 mm.||1.02 k/h||From: ENE||0%|
|06h||26||0 mm.||1.55 k/h||From: WSW||0%|
|09h||29||0 mm.||3.3 k/h||From: W||0%|
|12h||24||0 mm.||2.7 k/h||From: NW||0%|
|15h||19||0 mm.||1.95 k/h||From: N||0%|
|18h||17||0 mm.||1.82 k/h||From: NE||0%|
|21h||16||0 mm.||1.8 k/h||From: NE||0%|
It will be clear skies over Rawalpindi on November 3 where the afternoon would be warm and the temperature would drop down towards the evening. The conditions would be perfect for batting as there isn’t much in the pitch for the bowlers. The side that bats first in the game would have to score in excess of 300 runs to do well here.
Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium has seen several high scoring game as the ball comes to the bat nicely allowing the batsmen to play their strokes freely at this venue. Fast bowlers have to make use of the new ball as there is hardly anything for them on the wicket. Spinners have done well here as the odd ball stops on the batsmen and takes sharp turn.
It is a no brainer at the toss as the wicket is brilliant to bat on in the first innings when there is not much of swing and seam for the bowlers. It only starts assisting the bowlers in the second innings under lights. The captain winning the toss in this game would most likely opt to bat first in this game.
Zimbabwe has already surrendered the series in two straight games and hasn’t been able to challenge the Pakistani side. They look weak both in the batting as well as bowling departments and don’t seem like a match for the Pakistanis. The hosts on the other hand would be looking to end the series on a winning note. They have dominated in both the games and shall start favorites in this one as well.
Pakistan to win