About the Match
Pakistan sealed a 41-run victory over Zimbabwe in the first ODI on Tuesday to lead the series 1-0; the two teams will now face off in the 2nd ODI t be held on 29th May at Lahore. The hosts put up a tremendous display of fireworks registering the highest ODI total of 375 runs in Pakistan with all-round efforts from the players; they will be eager to win the upcoming match and lift the title at home. The visitors on the other hand seem to be lost at sea and will try to get a foothold on the proceedings in the upcoming match on Friday.
The batsmen were methodical in getting the runs on board and building strong partnerships which took them to the highest ODI total of 375 runs in Pakistan; Shoaib Malik made a great impact on his return to the ODI squad by scoring his fastest century of 112 off 76 balls that helped the team put up the humungous total. Azhar Ali and Mohammad Hafeez are also in good form and they posted the team’s 3rd highest opening stand of 170 runs; later Haris Sohail chipped in alongside Malik to keep the scoreboard ticking. The top order looks very strong with all four batsmen crossing half centuries with ease; the middle order consists of players like Sarfarz Ahmed and Asad Shafiq who can rotate strikes and chip in with the runs. However, the bowling attack looks a tad bit weak with only Wahab Riaz finding success among the top bowlers; he claimed 3-47 while Malik and Anwar Ali contributed with a wicket each to help the team win the match. They have the determination and talent to seal a series victory on home soil after such a long gap; we will definitely see them perform to the best of their abilities on Friday.
After losing the T20 series, Zimbabwean batsmen tried their best to chase down the massive 375 run target in the first ODI; Elton Chigumbura’s brilliant 117 off 95 kept them in the race. He partnered with Masakadza to post a 124-run stand for the third wicket but by the time they got to scoring the big runs, it was already too late to make a comeback after losing wickets in the middle. The bowlers were not impressive, giving away too many runs to the hosts; only Utseya and Panyangara claimed 3 wickets between themselves. They will need to did in deep and find the skills to contain the Pakistani batsmen from bringing in another runs galore; the batsmen on the other hand need to get good starts either in chasing totals or setting one. The players must overcome their weaknesses to give the hosts a considerable challenge and win the next match to keep the series alive.
Pakistan is on the threshold of winning an ODI series at home after six long years and they will definitely put their best foot forward to do so on Friday; Zimbabwe however will put up a better performance to try and level the series to keep the battle on for another day. Although the contest could go down to the wire, we feel that confident Pakistan is better placed to win the match