Therefore, when Pakistan, fresh off a 2-0 T20I series triumph, get on to the field at Harare Sports Club on Thursday (October 1) to face Zimbabwe in the first of three ODIs, they will do so as the overwhelming favourite.
Pakistan spinner Yasir Shah took 6-26 in his side’s crushing 131-run ODI victory over Zimbabwe in Harare.
The first ODI match of the series is scheduled for Thursday at the Harare Sports Club. “That’s why we’re bringing youngsters in to have a look at them and see what our best team can be for the World Cup”.
Zimbabwe don’t have that kind of luxury in depth, and with the way Pakistan are bowling, another lopsided win should be in store.
Hamilton Masakadza and Sean Williams did not contribute much either although they got the starts with 26 and 19 respectively.
T20 SQUADS: Shahid Afridi (captain), M Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Mukhtar Ahmed, Umar Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood, Shoaib Malik, Aamer Yamin, M Irfan, Bilal Asif, Wahab Riaz, Imad Wasim, Sohail Tanvir, M Rizwan and Imran Khan Junior.
With a ideal record in Zimbabwe so far, can Pakistan remain unbeaten? Especially with the spinners, the majority of the wickets were to their spinners. With the ball, Graeme Cremer’s return has been a welcome change as he lends control in the middle with his legspin. Pakistan were suffering as only 128 runs on the board with half of their side had already returned to pavilion. This ensured that the score kept ticking over even when boundaries were not forthcoming, and set the platform for Pakistan’s charge at the death.
Wasim struck once each in his next three overs to as good as finish off the chase. Wasim had been given a life thanks to Williams’ drop at long-on earlier in the over, and there was a ragged edge to Zimbabwe’s effort at the death.
He had been selected on the basis of his all-round performances for Pakistan A. On a flat track at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, he bowled only two overs but played a more vital hand with the bat as Pakistan snuck home by two wickets.
Batting first, both Pakistan openers departed inside four overs. Yet all 10 wickets fell to spin. They kept rotating the strike while punishing the bad ball every now and then.