Zimbabwe’s battle to break the T20i jinx against Pakistan
Pakistan to win
It was a thrilling finish to the 3-match ODI series where the Zimbabwean side beat all odds to win the third game in the Super Over. This win would have surely lifted the confidence for the visitors as they go into the T20 series. In fact this surprise win for Zimbabwe has renewed interest in this series which had looked like a one-sided affair. The Pakistanis would still feel confident about their prospects having dominated the visitors for most parts.
Zimbabwean side has a baggage of history on its shoulders as the side has never managed to defeat the Pakistanis in this format of the game. They also come here in poor form and haven’t won too many games against higher ranked sides so far. In these conditions Pakistan would be a tough side to beat but this format of the game always throws in surprises and Zimbabwean players will have to play positive cricket to win this game.
Babar Azam would be slightly upset at not having sealed the ODI series 3-0. Complacency seemed to have set in the side after the series win in two games. Azam would know that his players can least afford to take the visitors lightly in this format of the game. They failed miserably in the last home series against a weaker Sri Lanka and Azam would like to avoid that at all costs.
Openers Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman would relish these conditions and look to provide the side with a good start. Mohammad Hafeez at No. 3 will have to anchor the innings and hold one side together along with Imam-ul-Haq. They have good hitters of the ball in Mohammad Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan and these players would look to exploit the relatively young Zimbabwean attack.
They have a good bowling attack with Shaheen Afridi and Imad Wasim in good form and they would be expected to provide the side with a good start in this game. Wahab Riaz brings in tons of experience to this bowling attack that also has quality bowlers in Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf.
Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Afridi
U Qadir, Babar Azam, Khushdil Shah, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf, Haider Ali
Chamu Chibhabha’s team did the unthinkable in the last ODI and having gained confidence from that game the side would look to come up with a similar performance in the 1st T20. They have never won a game against Pakistan in this format and the skipper would be looking to break that jinx here. They showed promise in the last ODI and need to draw inspiration from that game.
The side would be expecting a good start from Chamu Chibhabha and Brandon Taylor. Taylor who has looked in good form so far would need to play a good knock. Craig Erwin, Wesley Madhevere and Sean Williams solidify the middle order and Williams comes into this content after a match-winning hundred in the last game. Sikandar Raza has good hitting abilities and adds depth to this batting line-up.
It is however their bowling attack that needs to live up to the challenge. So far it hasn’t impressed on in this tour. Carl Mumba and Raza would need to play a lead role opening the bowling in this game. Blessing Muzarabani has impressed and he will need to bowl well in the middle overs along with Tendai Chisoro. Williams and Donald Tiripano will need to play good supporting acts in this game.
Chamu Chibhabha (c), Brendan Taylor (wk), Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Craig Ervine, Wesley Madhevere, Carl Mumba, Tendai Chisoro, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava
Richard Ngarava, Chamu Chibhabha, Elton Chigumbura, Sikandar Raza, Tendai Chisoro, Blessing Muzarabani, Ryan Burl, Sean Williams, Wesley Madhevere, Tendai Chatara, BRM Taylor
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||12||0 mm.||1.57 k/h||From: NNE||0%|
|03h||17||0 mm.||1.3 k/h||From: N||0%|
|06h||25||0 mm.||3.07 k/h||From: WNW||0%|
|09h||29||0 mm.||4.57 k/h||From: WNW||0%|
|12h||23||0 mm.||3.33 k/h||From: WNW||0%|
|15h||19||0 mm.||1.52 k/h||From: NNW||0%|
|18h||17||0 mm.||1.83 k/h||From: NE||0%|
|21h||16||0 mm.||1.82 k/h||From: NE||0%|
It will be a warm evening in Rawalpindi on November 7 and the pitch would be a good one to bat on as we have already seen in the ODIs. There is little bit of slowness here which offers the bowlers some opportunity. But the side that bats first would have to eye a score in the range of 170 runs to feel comfortable.
Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium has been a good venue for T20 cricket where batsmen have relished the flatness of the surface and the fast outfield. Fast bowlers have always taken a beating at this venue and need to mix their line to do well. The slowness on the surface offers spinners good rewards here.
Winter has already set in and this would make dew a major factor in this game where the sides would find it tough to bowl in the second innings. The pitch is expected to be good for batting in both the innings and thus the side that wins the toss is likely to field first in this game.
Zimbabwe surprises everyone in the last ODI but the side has plenty of issues leading up to the game. In the last few years they have hardly followed a win with another good performance. They are a side that depends on few players. Pakistan on the other hand is strong with the bat and playing in home conditions. They have never lost a game against Zimbabwe and all these would make them overwhelming favorites to win this game.
Pakistan to win