About the Match
Harare Sports Club saw some fireworks in the first game and is waiting to host the second T20 Match between Zimbabwe and Pakistan tomorrow. Winning the first match of the tournament, Pakistan got off to a great start by defeating the hosts, Zimbabwe by 25 runs in the first T20 match today. Zimbabwe will now look forward to rising above its problems and winning the upcoming match. The visitors outperformed themselves and they struck gold with both bat and ball. Saturday’s match will be all the more exciting as the hosts have a lot to prove to themselves. It needs to be seen which team puts its best foot forward tomorrow.
With the first win of the series, Pakistan has exhibited its strengths today. The players grabbed the opportunity to sharpen their skills and put up a great show of talent and team spirit. Ahmed Shehzad once again shone with the bat and his brilliant knock of 70 off 50 balls won him the player of the match award. Though Mohammad Hafeez wasn’t his best today, his on the field decisions and team strategy helped the visitors. Sohaib Maqsood made his T20 debut by scoring a much needed 26 runs off 16 balls along with Shahid Afridi down the order. Afridi’s overwhelming spell of bowling, taking 3 crucial wickets won them the match. With the players in great form and a strong winning attitude, this team will be difficult to beat.
Team Zimbabwe badly missed Kyle Jarvis, who has retired recently and Sikandar Raza in the first match today. Though the bowlers started out well with Tendai Chatara taking two early wickets of Jamshed and Hafeez, they could not contain the Pakistani batsmen later on. Openers Masakadza and Sibanda played beautifully and put up a solid partnership of 50 runs before falling for the spinners. Brendan Taylor played a lone battle with wickets falling in quick succession and could not reach the target of 161. Batting is a big worry for the team and they need to quickly improve. Team unity and strength of character is crucial and Zimbabwe has to show the determination to change their fortunes. The players need to clean their act fast and come back strong.
Though Pakistan has won the first T20 of the series, it needs to be seen if they manage to keep the tempo going. Zimbabwe on the other hand could have done better today and will definitely learn from today’s mistakes. The hosts will fight back with better game plan and improved performance. But will the absence of some key players continue to affect them? Will Zimbabwe make a big turnaround tomorrow? Or will the Pakistani contingent come back with many more stellar performances? These questions will be answered shortly in a matter of hours. I feel that it will take some more time for the Zimbabweans to bounce back and Saturday’s match will be another easy win for Pakistan.
Pakistan, 1.14 @ Bet365