About the Match
Pakistan won a thriller of a match
by 13 runs to take a 1- 0 lead in the T20 series against Zimbabwe; they will now face the hosts for the 2nd T20 match at Harare on 29th Sep. Batting first, the visitors posted 136 runs after a sloppy start; the bowlers did well to defend the total and get them the first victory. Zimbabwe displayed glimpses of courage during the chase but couple of run-outs in the middle did them in towards the end as they could only get to 123 in reply. The upcoming match will decide if Pakistan gets its hand on the T20 title or the hosts will bounce back and draw level with a win on Tuesday.
Shoaib Malik’s powerful 35 off 24 clubbed with Rizwan’s unbeaten 33 helped them get to 136 runs batting first; ImadWasim’squickfire 19 off 12 balls helped them with those extra runs and his brilliant 4-11 clinched them the victory at the end. SohailTanvir and WahabRiaz helped keep the pressure on the hosts and defend the target well.
Although Ahmed Shehzad started the innings well with 17 runs, the top order couldn’t impress much; players like Mukhtar Ahmed, SohaibMaqsood, Umar Akmal and Shahid Afridi down the order must up their ante when situation demands.
The win in the first match has kept their unbeaten streak against Zimbabwe alive; however, they should put up a better performance with the bat and be cautious against the bowlers from the home side.
Chibhabha excelled with the ball as he claimed 3-18 in his 3 overs but when it came to batting, he was out for a duck right at the end of the first over; Panyangara, Jongwe and Cremer controlled the run-flow and took regular wickets but they couldn’t restrict Pakistan from posting a good total of 136 runs.
Masakadza started the chase well posting a run-a-ball 25 but he couldn’t find a stable partner; Ervine, Sikandar Raza and Williams all failed to push the momentum with the runs and it took Chigumbura’s 31 off 28 to build the innings. However, with a lacklustre performance by the lower middle order, they lost the match by 13 runs.
The batsmen need to pull up their socks and come up with a better and confident performance against the Pakistani spinners and pace attack; if the bowlers can reign in more control and keep a check on the opposition’s run-flow, they will definitely have the vantage point on Tuesday.
The fate of this T20 series depends on the upcoming match on Tuesday; while Pakistan is upbeat from their victory, they will leave no stone unturned to make a 2-0 whitewash here. Zimbabwe, on the other hand needs to pull itself up and come out all guns blazing to draw level; although it will be a tough challenge against the home side, we feel that the visitors will once again shine with a win here