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The first match of the Zimbabwe vs UAE ODI series was a one-sided affair where the home team showcased its dominance in every aspect of the game. This is the first time that UAE is traveling to a full test nation to play a bilateral series and the step up is a big one. If UAE thought that it could take advantage of a Zimbabwe side that was missing some of its key players then they were in for a rude awakening.
We can safely assume that UAE would have learned from its mistakes in the first game and would be better acclimatized to the conditions. Will they be able to make the improvement needed to try and win a match against Zimbabwe?
Zimbabwe won the toss and put UAE into bat in the first game. It was a sensible decision considering the fact that it was the first match of the series. Neither team would have known how the pitch was going to behave and this is why chasing was safer.
As it turned out, Zimbabwe’s bowlers were all over the UAE batsmen from the very first over and never allowed them any breathing room.
Zimbabwe was in the field for 45 overs but only gave away 110 runs. That is a run-rate of just over two runs per over! Zimbabwe has some talented players in its side but even they would have known that they are facing an opponent that is quite far below the level of international cricket.
Almost every single bowler was in the wickets. Kyle Jarvis, Donald Tripano, and Brandon Mavuta picked up two wickets each while Tendai Chatara led the way with three wickets. All of the bowlers had economy rates which they may never have returned in international cricket up until now!
The Zimbabwe batting was very professional as well. The batsmen went about their business with purpose and did not let the game drift at any time. Solomon Mire would have been disappointed to be dismissed cheaply but Regis Chakabva and Craig Ervine ensured that the chase would never be in doubt.
We don’t think Zimbabwe is going to make too many changes to its side so early in the tournament. If anything, the home side may want to bat first if it wins the toss and challenge its players in a different manner.
Solomon Mire, R Chakabva, Sean Williams, Craig Ervine, T Maruma, Peter Moor, Sikandar Raza, Donald Tiripano, Kyle Jarvis, Brandon Mavuta, Tendai Chatara.
Batting was always going to be a problem for UAE and they knew that coming into the series. The side does not have the necessary experience, class, or talent to be able to play out the full fifty overs reliably.
The side must hope and pray that one of its senior players can hit a purple patch and carry the entire team alongside. On the basis of what we saw in the first game, that is not likely to happen.
We would still warn against writing off UAE completely. They did manage to defeat Zimbabwe in a high-pressure contest during the ICC World Cup 2019 qualifiers with almost the same set of players that are playing this series.
Players like Rohan Mustafa, Chirag Suri, Shaiman Anwar, and Ghulam Shabir will have to take more responsibility. It looked like the side was aware of its batting frailties and this is why every batsman was worried about getting out rather than scoring runs.
That is a defensive state of mind that does not pay dividends too often.
Players like Shaiman Anwar and Rohan Mustafa are very talented. They must see these matches as an opportunity to succeed rather than be worried about failing. There is nothing for the UAE to lose anyway. They could lose every single match of this series and yet never be called out even once. That is, in fact, expected.
If the UAE does manage to win a match, especially when the series is still alive, then it would make headlines across the world.
The bowling unit was a bit better than the batsmen. Mohammad Naveed kept things tight first up while Qadeer Ahmed, Rohan Mustafa, and Imran Haider picked up one wicket each during the brief Zimbabwe chase.
All of the UAE players must recognize they were not good enough in the first match. If they can be more competitive in the second match, then perhaps their objective would have been achieved from this second match.
Mohammad Naveed, Ashfaq Ahmed, Ghulam Shabber, Rohan Mustafa, CP Rizwan, Imran Haider, Zahoor Khan, S Anwar, Muhammad Usman, Chirag Suri, Qadeer Ahmed.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to field first with rain being predicted for this match.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
The second ODI between Zimbabwe and UAE is going to be played at the Harare Sports Club, Harare. There is some rain expected around Harare on match day and that could mean a shortened match being played out.
UAE would not mind that at all since the shorter match would allow it to have a better chance of pulling off an upset.
The pitch at the Harare Sports Club was pretty good for batting and it will remain like that. The pitch is slow with nothing in it for the bowlers.
The home side was so far superior to UAE in the first match that an upset looks highly unlikely. The odds may not be particularly welcoming but we advise betting on Zimbabwe in this match as well.
Back Zimbabwe to win.
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