After dominating the T20 series against Zimbabwe, Pakistan got off to a terrific start in the ODI series as they clinched the first ODI on Thursday. Pakistan could go for the kill as they prepare to face Zimbabwe in the second ODI at Harare Sports club on Saturday. A victory here could lead to a series win for Pakistan.
Zimbabwe, however, will want to win the second ODI and draw level, which can lead to an interesting third ODI as the decider. First, Zimbabwe, who were bundled out for 128 runs in the first ODI, need to come up with a better performance if they are to have any chance of winning the second ODI. Secondly, their batsmen need a way to tackle Yasir Shah's mastery with the ball.
None of the Zimbabwe batsmen could cope up with the leggie, Yasir Shah, who took six wickets during the first ODI. Apart from Shah, they also have to face bowlers like Mohammad Irfan, who created huge pressure early on giving away only seven runs from four overs.
Zimbabwe opening batsmen, Brian Chari, who was making his debut for the African nation, weathered the early storm but his wickets were rattled by Shah later. The opening batsman feels it may be better suited for the batsmen to come down the track and cover the spin.
"I don't think sweeping would be a good option to Yasir Shah," ESPN Cricinfo quoted Chari as saying.
"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 out. We should use our feet a bit more, rather than going back and staying in the crease to the spinners."
For his part, Yasir Shah said that the Zimbabwean batsmen were not able to understand his variations.
"I think the Zimbabwean batsmen weren't able to read my variations when I was bowling googlies or flippers or legbreaks, and that was troubling them a lot," said Yasir Shah.
Pakistan are sure to have their tails up after such a victory. However, the Pakistani team will love to see their batsmen amongst runs, which has been a major problem. The top order, after a poor T20 series, also failed in the first ODI. With the huge series against England also looming large this month, the Pakistan team need to get their act right, else, they might face the music against the strong English side.
They can use the rest of the series against Zimbabwe as perfect preparation for England vs Pakistan series.
Where to watch live
Zimbabwe vs Pakistan 2nd ODI match is scheduled for 9:30 am local time (1pm IST, 12:30pm PKT) start. Viewers in India can watch the Zimbabwe vs Pakistan 2nd ODI live on Ten Cricket with live streaming on tensports.com.
Pakistan viewers can watch the Zimbabwe vs Pakistan 2nd ODI on Ten Sports. Live streaming is available on Geo Super Tv.
Viewers in the US can watch the game live on Willow TV with live streaming Willow TV online.