About the Match
Pakistan had a plenty of reasons to smile after their victory in first T20 of the series. While the players enjoyed the win they posted on the field, the governance and the cricket board would have loved the way international cricket returned to Pakistan after six long years of wait. The nerves would have settled now as they move on to play 2nd T20I of the series at the same venue, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on 24th May 2015. Paksitan won the first ODI quite comprehensively, though they had a few hiccups as they approached the finish line. As the ground would remain same, we expect a hard surface which would be a paradise to bat on. Anything can happen on a good surface and once again a cracker of a contest is expected.
Pakistan celebrated the return of international cricket with a massive victory. They experienced a few roadblocks towards the end of their chase as they stumbled and lost a few wickets, but skipper Shahid Afridi smashed a boundary to end the fuss. Although Mohammad Sami proved to be expensive, he picked up three crucial wickets which just might have sealed his spot for the second T20 as well. Shoaib Malik would want to forget his outing as far as batting is concerned. However, he bowled brilliantly and was most economical bowler for his side. Mukhtar Ahmed and Ahmed Shahzad posted a wonderful opening partnership which helped the home team cruise to the target, but the middle order failed to capitalize on the solid start and the team lost its way only to be guided back by skippers only four. Pakistan despite having a mixed day posted a victory, but they have their areas to improve if they want to repeat the success in the fixtures to come.
Zimbabwe would have felt that they were in with a chance after they posted 172 on the board. Soon thereafter, Mukhtar Ahmed and Ahmed Shahzad made mockery of that total. As far as their batting is concerned, Zimbabwe went along pretty nicely to post a decent total. Hamilton Mazdakadza and skipper Elton Chingumbura played a promising knock. Their bowlers were, however, all over the places which really cost them the match. Christopher Mpofu went for 32 runs in his three overs who might have to make way for Twanda Mupariwa. The visitors would love to forget their bowling effort and start afresh. Although they struggled for most part of their defense against the home team, there were a few glimpses of brilliance which just might be required from them if they want to topple the home side.
Zimbabwe has been unable to resister a victory against Pakistan in its last six encounters. Visitors will want to turn the stats around and end that drought with a win. It is definitely a tough ask, but stranger things have happened in cricket, especially in shortest format of the game. Apparently Pakistan has a stronger lineup with a nice blend of youth and experience. Zimbabwe, on the contrary, are trying to get their combination right to move up the ladder of international cricket. Beating Pakistan at their home ground has always been difficult and we feel that Pakistan would emerge victorious in the second T20I as well.