Zimbabwe’s opportunity to play tricks against a failing Pakistan


Mohammad Hasnain and other young pacifists are likely to get a longer rope © Getty

Pakistan’s purple spot in white ball cricket continued to roll, but Zimbabwe just didn’t fall sideways. An 11-run win is not something Pakistan would be very proud of, but they would take it as they won despite not playing their A game.

Zimbabwe was annihilated by Afghanistan before this series, but gave a good account of itself against a misshapen Pakistani costume. The buttery fingers of the Zimbabwean players returned to chase them as Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman fell early in the inning. Then some immaturity while hunting also bothered their apple cart. They were 77 for 2 in their chase of 149 before losing the plot.

Craig Ervine hit nicely before throwing away his wicket and would like to correct his mistakes. And if appropriate, Brendan Taylor will add a lot of meat to this young bat line from Zimbabwe. Expect Zimbabwe to present another lively presentation with the series on the line. But luck during the launch will certainly increase their chances of fighting.

Pakistan however would take it as a wake-up call and worry about more alarms as this is the World Cup year and no preparation could be left to chance.

When: Friday, April 23, 11:00 AM LOCAL

Where: Harare Sports Club

What to expect: Wait for another slow wicket thanks to the early morning. The toss becomes decisive again and the hosts would expect the toss to favor them again. Hunting doesn’t guarantee victory, but it’s certainly an easier vocation than beating first.

Team News:

Zimbabwe: Brendan Taylor had to sit down in the first match and that certainly hindered the hosts during the chase. His rich experience is not measurable and his presence will certainly increase Zimbabwe’s chances. Other changes are unlikely, as Zimbabwe was well aware of itself.

Probable XI: Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Wesley Madhevere, Brendan Taylor / Tadiwanashe Marumani, Craig Ervine, Sean Williams (c), Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva (wk), Luke Jongwe, Wellington Masakadza, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava

Pakistan: Hasan Ali and Shaheen Afridi were asked to warm the bench while Pakistan tried to give opportunities to their young pacifists. That plan is likely to continue. They did have a few sobs in the middle order and that’s one thing that needs a solution. Asif Ali and Sarfaraz’s chances of entering the XI could be an option as Pakistan continue to build their squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup. One of Hasan Ali and Shaheen Afridi could also try.

Probable XI: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, dana Aziz / Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Usman Qadir, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Afridi / Haris Rauf

What they said:

“It wasn’t a convincing win. The wicket was two-step and the batsmen couldn’t adapt to it. When you come from strong to low wickets, you have to adjust and we have to work on it,” Babar Azam no words because he felt that Pakistan needed to adapt better.

“It’s unjustifiable to drop those many catches against a team like Pakistan. We need to improve our small disciplines,” Be Williams, on the launch of Zimbabwe.

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