Zimbabwe’s challenge to stand up to Pakistanis
Pakistan to win
Zimbabwe did surprise everyone to win one of the games during the 3-match T20 series but their lack of experience came back to hurt them as they went down in the final game to lose the series 1-2. The hosts have made several changes to their squad bringing in uncapped players. Pakistan is so far enjoying a good tour and has an experienced squad and they would look to ride the momentum.
Zimbabwe hasn’t had a good record in this format of the game in the last decade where they have won odd Test matches but never have been able to gain consistency in this format. Pakistan on the other hand have had a good record against Zimbabwe in the recent years and it will be interesting to see if the hosts are able to take advantage of the home conditions and beat the odds with a win in this game.
Sean Williams has a big challenge at hand as his side takes on a confident Pakistani team in this Test Match. Coming into this series with a loss in the T20s makes it an even bigger challenge for the side. Their performance in this format hasn’t been much to talk about in the recent years and now the side would have to rise up to the challenge and offer stiff competition to the Pakistanis.
Prince Masvaure and Kevin Kasuza will have to stand up to Pakistan’s new ball attack in this game and offer a good start to the side. Their middle order has good experience with Sean Williams and Brendan Taylor in the side and they would have a very important role to play in this game. Down the order the side would need runs from Regis Chakabva and Tendai Chisoro in this game.
Richard Ngarava and Luke Jongwe will have to grab early wickets for the side to pose a challenge for the Pakistani batting lineup. Blessing Muzarabani will have to make good use of his experience in this game. The side would also look for a good show from Tendai Chisoro, Donald Tripano and Wellington Masakadza in this game.
Sean Williams (c), Prince Masvaure, Kevin Kasuza, Brendan Taylor (wk), Regis Chakabva, Luke Jongwe, Wellington Masakadza, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Tendai Chisoro, Donald Tripano
Richard Ngarava, Tendai Chisoro, Tarisai Musakanda, Roy Kaia, Milton Shumba, Regis Chakabva, Prince Masvaure, Blessing Muzarabani, BRM Taylor, Kevin Kasuza, Donald Tiripano
Babar Azam would be relieved to win the T20 series after their loss in the second game had invited lot of criticism. On paper they are a much better side compared to the hosts and Azam would like his players to make good use of their experience. The Pakistani skipper would hope there is no complacency on their end during this game and expect a good show from his players.
The side would look for a good start from Imran Butt and Abid Ali in this game. They will have to see the new ball off and set up a good platform for the likes of Azhar Ali, Babar Azam and Fawad Alam to score runs here. Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Nawaz, and Faheem Ashraf would need to make good use of their experience down the order and help the side reach a good score in this game.
The side would be expecting a good spell from Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali with the new ball. They would look to exploit the weakness that Zimbabwe have with the bat. Haris Rauf and Ashraf bring in lot of experience to this bowling attack and they would be looking to trouble the hosts with their variety.
Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Imran Butt, Abid Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Fawad Alam, Azhar Ali, Mohammad Nawaz
Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Imran Butt, Hasan Ali, Abid Ali, Sajid Khan, Nauman Ali, Fawad Alam, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Azhar Ali
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||17||0 mm.||3.19 k/h||From: ENE||33%|
|03h||16||0 mm.||3 k/h||From: NE||30%|
|06h||18||0 mm.||3.72 k/h||From: ENE||21%|
|09h||25||0 mm.||3 k/h||From: ENE||6%|
|12h||28||0 mm.||2.63 k/h||From: NE||13%|
|15h||24||0 mm.||2.25 k/h||From: NE||90%|
|18h||19||0.23 mm.||2.86 k/h||From: ENE||81%|
|21h||18||0 mm.||2.62 k/h||From: ENE||55%|
There would be slightly overcast conditions over Harare beginning April 29 and the conditions would suit the fast bowlers. Spinners are expected to enjoy the conditions from day 3 onward. The pitch is expected to be a tough one to bat on as the ball won’t come on to the bat nicely and batsmen would have to play to the merit of the ball to do well on this track.
The pitch at Harare Sports Club is slow and hence batsmen have to play a waiting game on this wicket and not force their way into playing strokes. Fast bowlers do get early assistance from the surface and have done well in the past. As the pitch starts wearing down spinners have enjoyed good turn from this surface in the past.
There would be some assistance on this surface on Day 1 and fast bowlers are expected to do well during this period. Most teams have preferred to bowl first on winning the toss in recent years and hence we expect the side winning the toss to bat first in this game.
Zimbabweans haven’t done well in this format for a long time and they are coming into this game with several players having no experience in this format. Their bowling attack looks ordinary at the moment and isn’t likely to pose much of a challenge to the Pakistani batsmen. Pakistan with its better strength in both departments of the game shall start overwhelming favorites to win this game and take a lead in the series.
Pakistan to win