Pakistan who have bought international cricket back to their nation have given their fans more to celebrate after the T20 whitewash with a victory in the first ODI match against Zimbabwe in Lahore. Pakistan who are slowly building a squad with the right balance that will take on Zimbabwe who looks to inflict a bit of pain in the supporters in the first home series that they are witnessing in over 6 years.
It is also a match where the team from Zimbabwe will want win so as to stay alive in the series. However it is not easy as the Pakistan side backed by home supporters seem hard to beat.
The 2nd ODI in this series will be played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Friday, 29th of May 2015. It is a day night match scheduled to begin at 4:00 pm local time.
The weather in Pakistan has not been of any harm to the cricket to be played and we can expect a whole game of 50 overs a side.
Zimbabwe side was able to score at more than 8 runs per over in the T20s and more than 6 runs per over in the ODI’s and have shown that they belong in the international arena. But their bowling has often led them down and the fact that their batsmen have been batting well has been over shadowed.
Pakistan on the other hand are full of confidence and are high on home support from the fans. It will be really hard for the team from Zimbabwe to derail this Pakistan team who look to get stronger match by match.
The difference in intensity on the field itself has shown why Zimbabwe is still regarded as fringe nation. Miss-fields and dropped catches have not helped them in the first game and if they do not get better, they may have to face an even more tough beating.
With not a lot of changes needed for Pakistan their team might look unchanged.
Pakistan predicted XI
Azhar Ali (Captain), Sarfraz Ahmad, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Sami, Yasir Shah, Hammad Azam, Ahmad Shehzad, Anwar Ali.
Zimbabwe predicted XI
Elton Chigumbura (Captain), Prosper Utseya, V Sibanda, Hamilton Masakadza, Sean Williams, R Mutumbami, C Ervine, CB Mpofu, T Panyagara, BV Bitori.
With the Pakistan team having found their form under home grounds, this would be a very difficult task for the Zimbabwe team to spoil the party. With almost every batsman getting a good knock in the 3 games of the tour so far for Pakistan, they look clear favorites to run away with a victory in Lahore on Friday.
Given the fragility of the opponents, it can easily be said that Pakistan will have their way around the Zimbabweans and that a gritty performance by Zimbabwe will make for a good match.
Even if Zimbabwe lose this game and ultimately the series, this series between the nations will be remembered as a fight against evil forces who are against cricket and a successful end to the series will also mark a victory for cricket as a whole.
So Pakistan will be favorites to win tomorrow versus Zimbabwe.