They bowled well and restricted Pakistan to 259 in the first match but got bowled out on just 128 runs in reply. A couple of lucky boundaries here and there, and they might have taken the T20 series 2-0. Zimbabwe’s batsmen have done well to preserve their wickets and keep the scoreboard ticking at a moderate rate on a tough Harare wicket.
“If we can use our feet a little bit better to get to the pitch and cover the spin, I think we can work him (Yasir Shah) out”.
“The pitches favoured the batsmen more”.
Both batsmen ended up scoring at a run a ball on a dry surface, with Rizwan finishing unbeaten on 75 and Wasim run out for 61 in the final over of the innings.
Experimenting with new players, Azhar has made two changes in the team’s lineup.
Cautious start: Zimbabwe 16/0 (5 overs)Zimbabwe openers have started very cautiously once again. Mutumbodzi captained Mashonaland Eagles to success in last season’s Pro50, enjoyed a good season with his English club Eversley, and acquitted himself well in Zimbabwe’s practice matches before this series.
Zimbabwe: Elton Chigumbura (captain), Brian Chari, Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Richmond Mutumbami, Luke Jongwe, Graeme Cremer, Tinashe Panyangara, John Nyumbu.
Pakistan are yet to solve their top-order woes but for the moment their bowling attack has more than made up for the inadequacies of the batsmen.
Although the 30-year-old Asif, who can also bat in the top order, was left out of Thursday’s 131-run victory over Zimbabwe, he came into the side for the second match along with Asad Shafiq as Ahmed Shehzad and Imad Wasim sat out.
The gradual build-up of cloud led to overcast and cool conditions the day before the game, but rain remains unlikely – though locals say the first rains could arrive next week.
Pakistan: Azhar Ali (captain), Bilal Asif, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfraz Ahmed (wkt), Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan, Asad Shafiq, Aamer Yamin, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah and Mohammad Irfan. Mohammad Irfan runs in to bowl the first over of the game.