About the Match
After a disappointing ODI series loss, Zimbabwe faces Pakistan in the 1st Test match starting from September 3rd at Harare. With series loss in both formats, T20 as well as ODI, Zimbabwe will look for some respite in the Tests. Though for a short time it looked like the hosts had made a comeback with the 1st ODI win against the visitors, they couldn’t carry on with the hopes of the nation. The team has to now rise above its messy situation and come back stronger. Pakistan on the other hand are looking extremely confident, after turning around the ODI series in their favour by registering huge wins.
After a surprise win against Pakistan in the first ODI, supporters had a lot of expectations from the team to clinch the series. However, they were unable to repeat their extraordinary performances, especially with the bat and succumbed to pressure. The bowlers did their job perfectly. Chatara with 3 wickets, Utseya and Masakazda with a wicket each restricted the visitors to 260, a score many thought was attainable by the batsmen. However, the batting order collapse was an absolute shocker. But for Brendan Taylor and Masakadza, the top order just couldn’t live up to its expectations. Down the order, Waller with his valiant 48 runs tried his best to reach the target alongside Utseya, but it was too late to recover. The loss has dealt a severe blow to the team’s morale and they now need to focus harder going into the tests.
Their huge win in the 3rd ODI against Zimbabwe by 108 runs has more than lifted their spirits, as this is the first bilateral series victory for them in ten years. This will definitely give them the edge in the Test series starting on Tuesday. The 3rd ODI saw Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad putting up a solid partnership of 66 runs in the first innings. It was good to see them working hard to build the target and taking no chances against the hosts unlike in their 1st match, where Pakistan was unable to defend a score of 245. Umar Amin’s entertaining 33 off 25 balls and Misbah’s valiant effort of 67 runs took the score to a competitive 260. Spinners Hafeez and Abdur Rehman struck early on and took two wickets each. Later on, it was Saeed Ajmal and Afridi who toiled hard to disallow Zimbabwe from bouncing back. The team work paid off and with this series win, they look more positive.
Zimbabwe seems to have lost its rhythm and will have to re-gather their strengths. It will be a tough climb uphill to once again make a comeback. But it’s not all over for them. They have the required skills and determination to fight back and will not give up till the end. However, Pakistan is backed up by strong and experienced all-round players. The 1st test looks a comfortable win for the visitors.
Pakistan, 1.28 @ Bet365
Pakistan batting struggled in opening ODI, but managed to catch-up in other two ODIs. The main credit goes to their skipper Misbah ul Haq, who played some match winning knocks and took the team closer to the victory. He is most experienced campaigner in visitors’ squad and I believe he will be top run getter for them.
Best Batsman (Pakistan):
Misbah ul Haq, 4.50 @ Bet365