Many would have said the Zimbabwean victory in the 1st ODI to be an upset win but that was really on considering how they performed in the two T20s especially in the batting department. The only issue they were having was that they weren’t able to match up to the required run rate and some good performances were needed in the middle of the innings. They had it on 27th and this was all that they needed to defeat Pakistan.
Match Result: Pakistan Won
The opening pair continued to pile up runs for the Zimbabweans and it was Hamilton Masakadza and Vusi Sibanda who put up 107 runs on the board together for the first wicket. This laid the real foundation of their successful run chase which was later capitalized by Brendan Taylor and other middle order batsmen. Not only this, the Zimbabwean bowlers were spot on as well. Chatara was economical and also picked up two wickets as well. Panyangara bowled well but couldn’t grab a wicket. Brian Vitori also managed to pick up a couple. Furthermore, the fielders also supported the batsmen and bowlers to grab this most wanted victory for the home side. Pakistan’s what could be a really big total was restricted to just 244 and a couple of run outs were very significant in restricting them to 244. So, overall it was a real team effort and it has lifted the morale of the Zimbabwean players who now aim at an upset series win after a long time.
They had it 12 years back by defeating New Zealanders and now they are aiming to pray the inconsistent Pakistani side. Going into the second ODI on 29th of August, the Zimbabweans will look at this game as the golden opportunity to wrap this series off. Brendan Taylor will have to play a role of a real leader like he did in the 1st ODI. With his form returning, it’s quite possible that he plays another anchoring innings in the next game and sees his side home. The bowlers will be expected to put up another great show. Most probably the Zimbabwean team will be unchanged for the next game in Harare.
The Pakistanis will have to fight for their pride on the 29th. The just let go the opponent quite easily the other day. But if they really have to live up to their reputation then some strong performances will be needed and besides that they are more in need of a team effort which was lacking in the first game. While batting, Hafeez and Misbah had set things up rather nicely but the middle and lower-middle order couldn’t really cash it up. The openers will also have to perform with more resilience and put up some quick runs. The slow starts aren’t really needed by Pakistan anymore.
The youngsters in the middle order will have to make sure that they play to their potential and show that they have guts to compete at the international level. So far, they haven’t been too impressive with some ordinary small innings in the middle.
As far as the bowling is concerned, people thought it to be the strongest point of the Pakistani team but that was exposed rather badly against the minnows the other day. They will have to show what they are capable of and will have to pick up wickets at regular intervals to restrict the Zimbabweans from getting away with yet another win.