Pakistan-Zimbabwe ODI Series Roundup and Talking Points

 By Ashley Dube 

Zimbabwe lost to Pakistan 2-1 in the just concluded 3 match ODI series which took place in Rawalpindi Pakistan. The Chevrons fell short in the first two matches losing by25 runs in the first match and by 6 wickets in the second ODI. 

Zimbabwe one day internationals in Pakistan 2020 review

Zimbabwe then won the third ODI international via the super over eliminator and bagged their first points in the World Cup Super League which helps qualification for the 2023 World cup, meaning every game dead rubber or not, has something on the line. In as much as the Chevrons were competitive in this series there are still major issues in the squad still in need of ironing out.

1. The Opening Batsmen Conundrum 

The opening batting pair of skipper Chamu Chibhabha and Brian Chari failed to impress in all 3 matches. With Chibhabha scoring only 20 runs in the entire series. Brian Chari looked good in certain circumstances but usually put pressure on himself as he failed to rotate the strike waiting to punish the odd bad ball. The situation was worsened as Tinashe Kamhunukamwe picking up an injury during the series.

2. Zimbabwe Were Poor in the Death Overs

Pakistan always had the edge over Zimbabwe in the death overs in all departments. In the first match Pakistan scored 90 runs in the final 10 overs putting them in a strong position. In reply Zimbabwe failed to capitalise on the century stand between Wesley Madhevere and Brendan Taylor due to some good death bowling from Shaheen Afridi who finished with a five-for and Wahab Riaz who finished with 4 wickets all coming in his final spell in the death overs. Zimbabwe’s bowlers on the other hand were inconsistent with both their lines in these crucial matches. In the last over Ngarava failed to defend 13 runs bowling to the tail enders. In the batting department the Chevrons lacked finishers. The squad is still in a need of a solid number 8 in the future tours.

The Positives 

There were positives which came from the series. Firstly, the middle order came to the party with Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams finishing the series with a century and half century in the series. In the 3rd ODI the pair came in with the Chevrons in all sorts of trouble at 22-3 and they managed to steady the ship and gave a platform to post a competitive score. 

Wesley Madhevere also performed well when called upon with Sikandar Raza coming to the party in the final ODI with an aggressive 45. In the 3rd ODI, it was the first time where the 4th, 5th and 6th stand all recorded partnerships of over 50 runs for Zimbabwe.

The future is bright with Madhevere and Muzarabani. 20-year-old Wesley Madhevere seemed unfazed facing some of the very best bowlers in the world. His pull shot in front square was something to behold and his ability to manipulate the field and rotate the strike was impressive. 

However, he is not the finished article though as he struggled with the 4th stump line and he now needs to start to convert his starts to big match winning scores. 

Muzarabani played brilliantly in the series. He was unplayable at times and managed to get the prized wicket of Babar Azam two out of three times in the series. Muzarabani produced a clutch performance in the final ODI with figures of 5-49. In the super over Blessing only conceded two runs getting 2 wickets in the process setting an easy target for the batsmen.

Man of the series for Zimbabwe - Sean Williams.

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