Zimbabwe was angry that they had to play in those conditions against South Africa, but they were undoubtedly relieved to get a point. In the meantime, Pakistan was devastated that two points against India in the tumultuous last over at the MCG were lost.
Earlier Pakistani teams may have fallen with that kind of defeat at other periods, but this one seems more settled. They may regret not selecting a fourth pacer at the MCG, but Mohammad Nawaz was not far from winning it. With a little good fortune from the free-deflection hit’s off the stumps and good fortune from the no-ball call, they are now in a comfortable position.
They are still a rather strong T20I team, at the risk of stating the obvious. Since the most recent T20 World Cup, they have the second-highest number of victories and the third-best win-loss ratio among Full Members. Their middle order managing a competitive total after Babar and Mohammad Rizwan’s unusual joint failure will give them some encouragement as well. Furthermore, they are unlikely to encounter batting conditions as challenging as those at the MCG.
Despite all of this, Zimbabwe will recognise a team they have beaten twice in white-ball cricket in the last two years.
Zimbabwe has also started to adopt a more offensive stance under coach Dave Houghton. Sikandar Raza, possibly the best player in the competition thus far, is the most striking example of how that has come to fruition. But in the first round with Alzarri Joseph and in the washout with South Africa’s attack, high-caliber fast bowling has already put their batting resources beyond Raza to the test twice.
Player to watch out
Blessing Muzarabani has contributed the most to Zimbabwe’s success in the competition thus far with their pace attack. It was always going to be possible for Zimbabwe to withdraw from the competition due to his height and the increased bounce on the most of Australian surfaces, and it hasn’t been disappointing.
He has occasionally had trouble hitting the appropriate lengths for each circumstance, but when he has, he has been hard to keep out. It arrived at a respectable pace as well. He also enjoys playing against Pakistan; in fact, it was his five-for in that ODI in Rawalpindi (along with two wickets in the Super Over) that ensured a memorable victory. Pakistan frequently struggles to counter bounce, so if Muzarabani gets it right, it could be a fight.
Pitch and Weather Report
Perth’s forecast calls for partly cloudy skies without any precipitation. The fresh ball has swung, and the field has a slight green tint. The fast bowlers have pace and bounce, but runs can also be scored swiftly, especially straight. Spinners frequently lose wickets if they bowl too full, but they may tie up a game in the middle overs by delivering a back of a length and pushing batters to hit to the huge square boundaries with a surface comparable to that of the MCG.
PAK vs ZIM Predicted Playing 11
Pakistan: Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Haider Ali, Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah
Zimbabwe: Craig Ervine (capt), Regis Chakabva (wk), Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Wessly Madhevere, Milton Shumba, Ryan Burl, Luke Jongwe, Richard Ngarva/Brad Evans, Tendai Chatara, Blessing Muzarabani
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