Zimbabwe’s shot at a rare T20 series victory
Pakistan to win
The 3-match T20 series is now nicely setup after Zimbabwe surprised everyone to defend a low total and register one of the most memorable wins in the last decade. It was a good show for the side that has rarely defeated stronger opponents in the recent years. Pakistan played poorly in the last game and made a mess of what should have rather been an easy chase for the side.
Zimbabwe has had a long run of poor performances in this format of the game and has rarely defeated a top side and hence the win in the last game would serve as a confidence booster for the side. The wicket is expected to be slow and this would make batting tricky in the next game. Given Pakistan’s unpredictability over the years this game might prove to be an interesting one with pressure on both the sides to perform.
Brendan Taylor would be delighted with the way his side went about defending a low total in the last game to level the series 1-1. This was their first every victory against Pakistan in this format of the game and the skipper would have happy to have got monkey off their back. The real challenge starts for the side now as they would have to repeat this success to register their first ever series win against a major side ever.
Their batsmen have struggled in both the games and the side would be expecting the opening pair of Taylor and Tinashe Kamunhukamwe to provide a good start to the side. In the middle order runs would be expected from Tadiwanashe Marumani, Wesley Madhevere and Ryan Burl here. Down the order Regis Chakabva and Tarisai Musakanda would be expected to play well as the top order hasn’t looked in the best of form so far in the two games.
Richard Ngarava and Luke Jongwe bowled exceedingly well in the last game to set up a win for their side. They would look to continue with the same form in the next game. Blessing Muzarabani will need to use all his experience and strike early with the new ball. Burl and Madhevere bowled tight lines and the same would be expected from them during the middle overs.
Brendan Taylor (c), Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Wesley Madhevere, Tarisai Musakanda, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva (wk), Luke Jongwe, Wellington Masakadza, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava
Richard Ngarava, Ryan Burl, Tarisai Musakanda, Regis Chakabva, Blessing Muzarabani, BRM Taylor, Wellington Masakadza, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Wesley Madhevere, Sean Williams, Luke Jongwe
Poor batting plan and perhaps complacency led to Babar Azam’s side losing the second game being bundled out for 99 runs and missing out on the opportunity of a series win in two straight games. They have faced stiffer challenge in the two games than they would have expected at the start of the tour. Azam would have to put this loss behind and inspire his side to play to its potential.
Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam have played well and the side would need them to put up a good show opening the batting. Their middle order has struggled first in South Africa and now here and hence runs would be expected from Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez and Danish Aziz. Asif Ali and Faheem Ashraf would be expected to play well down the order which hasn’t been the case so far.
Mohammad Hasnain and Faheem Ashraf would be expected to start the proceedings well for the side with the new ball as their opponents have struggled with the bat. In Arshad Iqbal and Haris Rauf they have bowlers who have been bowling tight lines and need to continue with the same show. Usman Qadir and Danish Aziz shall look to play the supporting role well in this game.
Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Usman Qadir, Arshad Iqbal, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf
Sharjeel Khan, Usman Qadir, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Rizwan
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||15||0.13 mm.||3.3 k/h||From: NE||93%|
|03h||15||0.31 mm.||3.03 k/h||From: NE||79%|
|06h||16||0.28 mm.||3.59 k/h||From: NE||57%|
|09h||23||0.75 mm.||2.58 k/h||From: NE||5%|
|12h||24||0.23 mm.||2.69 k/h||From: NE||51%|
|15h||20||0 mm.||0.18 k/h||From: NE||73%|
|18h||19||0 mm.||2.11 k/h||From: ENE||87%|
|21h||18||0.13 mm.||1.62 k/h||From: ENE||100%|
There would be odd clouds over Harare on April 25. The pitch is expected to be a tough one to bat on as we have seen in the last game. Batsmen will have to be cautious in their approach and play patiently. Any score over 160 runs would be a good total on this surface and difficult to chase.
The pitch at Harare Sports Club is slow in nature and this creates problems for the batsmen. The large outfield is also a challenge give most players are used to playing in smaller parks in this format. There is early assistance for the fast bowlers and spinners have done well as the ball tends to stop on the batsmen creating doubts in their minds.
The pitch has been a tough one to bat on in both the games that have been played so far. The ball has stopped on the batsmen and this has made scoring runs a challenge. Hence, the side that wins the toss would prefer to bowl here and aim at restricting the opponents to a small total.
Zimbabweans did well in the last game to defend a low total but their batting form hasn’t been up to the mark. They aren’t likely to have the same bit of luck in the next game as Pakistanis won’t commit the same errors. While complacency may have been the reason behind their loss in the last game Pakistan are a much better sides compared to their opponents and this would make them favorites in this game.
Pakistan to win