About the Match
After so many speculations, we’ll finally see spirited Zimbabwe taking on high flying Pakistan on 10th September at Harare. Zimbabwe is a fairly young team with hardly any experience. Initially the series was under threat because of their internal disputes with the administration. Having sorted out that, they put up a very good show at Harare barring a few errors that cost them dearly. Pakistan, though having started out a bit wobbly, won the 1st test by 221 runs. Having failed badly in the first innings, they bounced back finally. Zimbabwe took everyone by surprise in both bowling and batting, however, could not sustain the pressure of the 2nd innings and lost the match. There’s lots of hope for the hosts in the upcoming match.
It was a spirited effort by Zimbabwe as they put Pakistan in deep mess in the first innings. However, their inexperience is a big worry which caused them the defeat in the 1st test match. Youngsters Chatara and Panyangara destructed the Pakistani top order and look confident to do so again. Spinners Utseya and Masakadza, who took two wickets each, will give good support again. It was a collected effort by the batsmen too and will definitely keep the same combination in the 2nd match as well. Sibanda, Sikanadar Raza, Waller and Chigumbura are strong players who did well in the 1st innings and won’t let the team down. The top order also need to gear up and be more focused. Zimbabwe has been agile in field and there is no reason for them to perform below their best. With a positive attitude and strong determination, they have it in them to unsettle their opponents.
Younis Khan’s splendid double century and his solid partnership of 100 with Adnan Akmal brought Pakistan safely out of their troubles in the 1st test and won by 221 runs. The duo played smart and proved to be too good for the Zimbabwe bowlers. Misbah kept his cool again and performed well under tough conditions. The dangerous Saeed Ajmal’s 4th 10-wicket haul of his test career was the highlight of the match. In the crucial 2nd innings, we saw brilliance by Abdur Rehman and youngster Junaid Khan too. The bowling and batting opening pairs would continue to do their job and expected to perform well. They have the required experience and tail is not too long. The team has the potential to deliver and they would do every bit to put up a good performance.
Pakistan completely devastated the hopes of Zimbabwe after fighting back strongly in the 2nd innings. It is back on the right track after a dismal performance in the beginning of the test. Zimbabwe will analyze their weaknesses and will not leave any stone unturned to test the Pakistanis. They are brave and would try and put their best foot forward. Lack of experience may be the one factor that may deny them their due. Ultimately, it will be the Pakistanis who will win the 2nd test also and make a clean sweep here.
Pakistan, 1.22 @ William Hill
As was expected, Pakistan batting succumbed early on in both the innings only to be helped by stable innings from Misbah ul Haq, Younus Khan and Adnan Akmal. Additionally, the home team’s bowling was brilliant at the starting as they kept on picking up the wickets early and stalled the run flow. I expect Zimbabwean opening bowlers to trouble Pakistani batsmen and I think their opening partnership won’t last for more than 29-runs.
Fall of 1st Pakistan Wicket:
Under 29.5, 1.83 @ William Hill