Zimbabwe’s challenge to save the T20 series against confident hosts
Pakistan to win
Though Zimbabwe’s performance in the 3rd ODI had raised expectations from the T20 series, the first game of the 3-match series followed the usual script. After putting up an impressive total on the board Zimbabwean bowlers failed to put the Pakistanis under pressure going down in the game by 6 wickets.
Zimbabwean side seems to unable to get the monkey off their back. They haven’t won a T20 game against Pakistan ever and their nerves were on display in the last game with the ball. The side will have to gather confidence to do well here and take the series into the last game. As for the hosts they would focus on sticking to their basics and win this contest and bagging the series.
It was a clinical effort from Babar Azam’s side in the last game that led them to a win. There wasn’t anything fancy but the side struck to its basic game plan and won it convincingly. The skipper would look for better show from his bowlers as they leaked runs in the final stages of the game. He would like to go for the kill and pocket this series in the next game knowing the lack of confidence in Zimbabwean camp.
Openers Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman did well in the last game with Azam playing a match-winning knock. Zaman who missed out a big score would look to do well here. Mohammad Hafeez looked solid as ever and shall have to rotate strikes and allow the likes of Haider Ali and Khushdil Shah to do the big hitting. Mohammad Rizwan and Faheem Ashraf add strength to the batting down the order.
Mohammad Hasnain and Haris Rauf did well with the new ball in the last game and the side would be expecting similar performance from them here. Ashraf and Wahab Riaz were expensive and they will need to tighten their lines. Usman Qadir playing his first game failed to impress and shall look to do well in the next one.
Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Khushdil Shah, Faheem Ashraf, Wahab Riaz, Usman Qadir, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain
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 was overwhelmed in the last game. Though they batted well, with the ball they looked completely clueless about defending a decent score. The side has suffered with its bowling plan right through this tour and shall need to make amends ahead of this game. Chibhabha need to inspire confidence in his side going into this series saver.
Chamu Chibhabha and Brandon Taylor need to provide a good start. Chibhabha has been taking his side down with his poor batting and needs to do well here. Sean Williams and Wesley Madhevere played well in the last game and the side would be expecting a similar show from them. Elton Chigumbura and Sikandar Raza need to play better here than they did in the last game.
The bowling attack will need to rise up to the occasion and side would expect a better start with the new ball from Blessing Muzarabani and Madhevere in this game. Raza who is the most experienced bowler in the side needs to make better use of the conditions. Tendai Chatara, Richard Ngarava and Tendai Chisoro will also need to come up with a better show in this must-win game.
Chamu Chibhabha (c), Ryan Burl, Brendan Taylor (wk), Elton Chigumbura, Sean Williams, Wesley Madhevere, Sikandar Raza, Tendai Chisoro, Tendai Chatara, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava
Richard Ngarava, Chamu Chibhabha, Elton Chigumbura, Sikandar Raza, Tendai Chisoro, Blessing Muzarabani, Ryan Burl, Sean Williams, Wesley Madhevere, Donald Tiripano, BRM Taylor
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||13||0 mm.||1.66 k/h||From: NE||0%|
|03h||18||0 mm.||1.38 k/h||From: ENE||0%|
|06h||25||0 mm.||1.6 k/h||From: SW||0%|
|09h||28||0 mm.||2.76 k/h||From: WSW||0%|
|12h||22||0 mm.||1.52 k/h||From: WNW||0%|
|15h||18||0 mm.||2.22 k/h||From: NE||0%|
|18h||17||0 mm.||1.99 k/h||From: NE||33%|
|21h||16||0 mm.||2.12 k/h||From: NE||0%|
It will be clear skies over Rawalpindi on November 8 with a warm evening and the temperatures dropping sharply as the game progresses. There is little there in this wicket for the bowlers and batsmen are likely to have another easy outing. The side that bats first would need a score in excess of 180 runs to feel comfortable here.
Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium is a good surface to bat on as the ball comes easily on to the bat and the outfield is also quick. Stroke players have done well here in the past. Fast bowlers need to mix their line well to achieve rewards on this surface while spinners have been more successful thanks to the turn and bounce available on this surface.
We saw dew playing a role in the last game where bowling conditions became challenging in the evening. Batting would be easy here in the second innings against the wet ball. Thus we expect the captain winning the toss to bowl first in this game.
Though Zimbabwe did impress with the bat in the first T20 their bowling attack has mostly been ordinary on this tour. They don’t have an attack that can deliver a blow to the strong Pakistani batting line-up. The poor record they have in this format of the game would weigh in on them. Pakistan looks a better side in every department of the game and they would look to stick to their basic game plan. There is lot that separates the two sides at the moment and the hosts would start favorites to win the series in two straight games.
Pakistan to win