About the Match
After their emphatic 7-wicket win in the 1st ODI, Zimbabwe will play Pakistan on 29th August in the 2nd ODI. The home team’s celebration of their 100th ODI was marked by this surprise win as they presented the nation with this much needed victory. With a 1-0 series lead, Zimbabwe hopes to surge right ahead in the ODI’s against Pakistan. The visitors on the other hand, shocked after their loss, will come back stronger in tomorrow’s match. The duel is attracting more attention from cricketing circles around the globe after Zimbabwe’s late comeback into the game.
Masakadza’s brilliant knock of 85 runs and Sibanda’s 54 helped Zimbabwe in the chase of 245. Their opening stand of 107 kept the pressure off from the lower order and Sean Williams brought his team home in the end. The batsmen played well against the Pakistani spinners this time. Their hard work paid off in the first innings when the fast bowlers did a splendid job of restricting the visitors to a defendable 244. Chatara, who always looked confident, claimed two important wickets right at the beginning along with Utseya who took 1 wicket. Vitori kept the pressure on the opponents by giving no room to score and taking two more wickets in the end. Captain Brendan Taylor showered praises on his team members and looking very excited about tomorrow’s possibilities. If Zimbabwe play with the right attitude once again, they look good to win the one-day series this time around.
It was poor fielding and lack of bowling discipline that went against Pakistan in the 1st ODI. Though Saeed Ajmal’s 2 wickets and remarkable strike did pressurise the hosts, there was lack of support from the spinners. Fielders dropped catches frequently and long before they realized, Zimbabwe had inched closer to the target. But for Captain Misbah-ul-Haq who scored an unbeaten 83 and Hafeez with 70 runs, the batting order collapsed to the tight bowling. The openers struggled to keep the scoreboard ticking and misread the seamers. Some cheap shots by the lower order batsmen ultimately restricted the total to 244, a decent target but not quite enough to win this time. Team Pakistan needs to work harder on the fielding and will make some amendments going into tomorrow’s match.
With just a win away from an ODI series victory, Zimbabwe will be more focused on their team strengths and give it their best shot. This win against Pakistan, which has come after a 15-year wait, has certainly boosted the team morale and they will look forward to make history at Harare. Meanwhile, the shocking loss didn’t go down very well with the Pakistani contingent and will fight back fiercely to reclaim their superiority over the home team. It’s going to be an exciting match and the result could go either way. However, Zimbabwe will have to wait till round three to clinch a series win with Pakistan looking hungry to win this round. Pakistan being a heavyweight on paper is my choice in this match.
Pakistan, 1.17 @ William Hill
Pakistan’s batting is struggling since Champions Trophy and so are their openers. Ahmed Shehzad did well in the two T20s but Nasir Jamshed is having a disappointing tour. Shehzad has had a dream run in Zimbabwe and with the kind of form he and Jamshed are in, I suspect Shehzad to outscore the other opener. I’d certainly place my money on Shehzad against Nasir Jamshed.
Jamshed v Shehzad - Batsman Match:
Ahmed Shehzad, 1.83 @ William Hill