About the Match
Zimbabwe faces Pakistan in the 1st ODI match of the series at Harare. After comfortably winning both the T20 matches, Pakistan is all geared up for the upcoming one-day matches, first of which will be played on August 27th. Zimbabwe is looking for some reprieve in the longer format as they showed promising performance in the 2nd T20. Pakistan has gained the first advantage going into the ODI’s and will look to continue on their winning spree. The hosts will have to come out with some new strategies to make a comeback.
After suffering their second consecutive defeat to Pakistan and losing the T20 series, the team management will definitely correct some mistakes they made. Chigumbura who batted well previously should’ve probably been sent up the order to support to Brendan Taylor who ended up fighting a lone battle in the 1st T20 match. Though Masakadza and Sibanda started off confidently, the spin attack from the visitors proved too much to handle. In the bowling department, only Masakadza took 1 wicket with the rest of them proving ineffective against the opponents. Chatara who had done well in the first match was left out in the second and this might have been a costly mistake for them. Team Zimbabwe needs to pull up its socks and rise above its weaknesses to face the tough competition by the visitors.
Having won the T20 series, with an incredible performance by Ahmed Shahzad, Pakistan exhibited a very positive attitude ahead of the one-dayers. Shahzad’s 98 off 64 balls is the best score by a Pakistani in the T20 format. Shahzad added 143 for the 2nd wicket along with Hafeez, who more than made up for his poor batting in the previous match and posted an unbeaten 54 off 40 balls. Maqsood, the T20 debutante also showed great promise by hitting 26 runs off 16 balls in the 1st T20. Afridi has been in great form and took 3 crucial wickets. Hazeez also contributed with 3 wickets in yesterday’s match. The Pakistani spinners have left the Zimbabweans clueless. The team has been experimenting with new talent and is sure to spruce up more surprises in coming matches.
Pakistan has got off to a good start and is very confident at this stage. Zimbabwe will go on to make some amendments before the ODIs start on Tuesday. Will the promising youngsters from the host team rise up to the challenge and bring home some much needed victory? Or will the stiff opposition from Pakistan and its bunch of young heroes make them struggle some more? Zimbabwe will have to move on and keep up with the visitors. Pakistan on the other hand will need to keep their tempo going throughout the series. It will be an interesting start to the one-day matches on Tuesday. However, I feel that Pakistan will once again shine in all departments of the game and register an easy win.
Pakistan, 1.12 @ William Hill