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We are finally approaching the last ODI between Zimbabwe and Pakistan after a string of absolute no-contests. Pakistan has grown more and more dominant as the series has progressed. Their players are making the full use of bossing a substandard team and setting new records. The team has continued its first choice eleven and it looks like the final match will also see no changes. Zimbabwe has been poor. The unavailability of its players was well known and it has resulted in a complete humiliation for the host nation. Zimbabwe’s players would perhaps be the happiest that this series is coming to an end.
What could Zimbabwe possibly take out of this match or even this series? They lost the toss and must have felt a sinking feeling in their stomachs as they saw Pakistan choose to bat first. None of their bowlers had an impact and the Pakistan openers went on to score 304 runs before being separated.
Fakhar Zaman is a dangerous batsman and has proven himself against quality opposition but Imam Ul Haq’s batting is certainly nothing great. To see a batsman of his caliber ease his way to a century made us question the quality of the contest being witnessed.
Every one of Zimbabwe’s bowlers went for runs and there was very little for the captain to do. He eventually ended up bringing himself on to bowl for three overs to try and give some respite to his front line.
Chasing 400 was never even an option, maybe batting the full 50 overs should have been, but Zimbabwe failed on that count as well. No batsman scored a fifty and Tiripano was the highest scorer with 44 runs to his name.
Considering the fact that Tiripano would almost certainly bat around number 10 for any other international team, Zimbabwe’s batting performed as well as could be hoped.
The final ODI will hold very little importance for anyone remotely connected to the game unless Zimbabwe can pull off an upset win. We have a feeling the hell might have to freeze over before that could happen, though.
TS Kamunhukamwe, Hamilton Masakadza, Prince Masvaure, Peter Moor, E Chigumbura, Ryan Murray, Donald Tiripano, Liam Roche, WP Masakadza, C Mpofu, Tendai Chatara.
Watching a full-strength Pakistan team play Zimbabwe brings about images of a feeding frenzy in the jungle. The Pakistani batsmen must be lining up for a hit but there is almost no chance that their middle or lower order is going to be tested.
Sending Asif Ali up the order to showcase his skills was the right move and hopefully, we will see more changes in the batting order for the final ODI. Playing such a weak opposition has to be good for the ego but for little else.
Pakistan can treat this series as a vacation with some leisurely cricket thrown in because they are unlikely to encounter such an unworthy opponent in the near future. We are a little surprised that more of the Pakistani bench has not been rotated or at the very least some changes in the batting order to give more of the players a chance.
Even playing with fewer batsmen to give all the bowlers a go could be a good idea. The batsmen will be under pressure knowing that the lineup is short and that will go some way in simulating real match practice.
Either way, there is very little to guess here. The only value for punters can be in trying to guess the highest scorer or wicket-taker for Pakistan.
Imam-ul-Haq, F Zaman, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
Cold weather conditions, a flat pitch, and very little purchase for any of the bowlers involved. Pakistan is good enough to dominate Zimbabwe whatever the conditions considering the weakened state of the home team.
Pakistan could score 350 plus in the final match if they bat first or bowl Zimbabwe out for under 150.
Pakistan to win
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