About the Match
After levelling the series 1-1, Pakistan will now look to clinch the series in their 3rd and final ODI against hosts, Zimbabwe on Saturday, August 31st. Pakistan fought back strongly today with a fatal batting attack against the hosts. Zimbabwe had won the opening match and they were in strong contention to win the series. However they missed the opportunity and will now have to wait till Saturday to bring home the trophy. It needs to be seen if the hosts gather themselves and win the 3rd match to turn their dream into a reality.
Zimbabwe lost the plot today as the openers failed to build a strong foundation in their 299 run chase against Pakistan. Sibanda and Masakadza who had kept the scoreboard ticking in the earlier matches, couldn’t measure up to the pace attack today. Though Brendan Taylor played a Captain’s knock and steadied the chase with a glorious half century, his team mates faltered and were unable to reach the massive target. Earlier, the bowlers weren’t as disciplined in their first match ad gave away too many runs. But for Vitori and Utseya, none of the star performers like Chatara, Chigumbura and Masakadza took wickets today. It was Zimbabwe’s turn today to drop catches and display sloppy fielding. Lack of a good partnership cost them this match. The team needs to fine-tune their skills and come back stronger to register another win and make history.
Pakistan posted a huge total of 299 runs in their 2nd ODI to come right back into the one-day series against Zimbabwe. It was Mohammad Hafeez once again leading the attack. His 136 off 130 balls came to the rescue of the team when the openers and the captain himself failed to show their batting prowess. Down the order it was Umar Amin and Shahid Afridi who helped Hafeez in taking the score upto 299. From then on, it was a planned strategy to keep the pressure on the opponents and Pakistan was able to defend their total comfortably. Junaid Khan’s superb 4-15 was too much for the hosts to recover from. Abdur Rehman and Saeed Ajmal did well too with 2 wickets each. Afridi’s comeback on the batting front will be a big plus for the team in the lower order and clubbed with the heroics of Hafeez, the team looks good to win the series.
Pakistan won by 90 runs against Zimbabwe and its splendid effort to keep its hopes alive was commendable. However, the match also exposed some big gaps in the batting line up. Zimbabwe on the other hand gave away their advantage by this huge loss and now faces the uphill task of winning the crucial match on Aug 31. Will the visitors once again crush the hosts? Or will Zimbabwe shine with their never-say-die attitude and bounce back again? Though Pakistan is well placed at this stage and they are certainly the better team on paper, but considering odds and Zimbabwean form in this series, it is worth taking a risk in placing bets on them. I think luck will favor Zimbabwe in their path to glory.
Zimbabwe, 5.50 @ Bet365
Brendan Taylor didn’t have a memorable T20 series, but he has shown his class in ODI format. He has scored some runs in both games and has kept the wickets brilliantly as well. Because he is in excellent form, he is pretty likely to reach the 36-point mark by the virtue of wicket-keeping and his batting.
Brendan Taylor - 36 & Over, 1.83 @ Bet365