Match Preview

1st T20I: Pakistan vs Zimbabwe – Preview, Playing XI, Team News, Timing, Pitch Report, Stats

The ODI series was supposed to be Pakistan’s and Pakistan’s only. Many expected that series will be won comprehensively and clean sweep by Pakistan without much fuss. The series was sealed by Pakistan which was expected and the whitewash was soon expected too.

Zimbabwe had other ideas. They made Pakistan questioned their ability to chase 250+ in ODIs, something they have managed to win only four times in last five years. Pakistan scrapped a tie, only to loose in the Super Over, giving Zimbabwe a much needed victory.

Pakistan Cricket Team won the ODI series by 2-1 (Photo: PCB)

Come forth the T20I series. This is the format where Zimbabwe are yet to win a T20I match against them. There were a lot of closet moment for them to win a game against Pakistan but always fell short. This young Zimbabwean side will be inspired by their win in the third ODI and will take this confidence to the T20I series.

Pakistan meanwhile, will be hoping no more hiccups in the series. They were dealt with criticism for the way they played the final ODI, especially in the Super Over. Coming to their strongest format, Pakistan will be looking to win the series with ease.

Under Babar Azam so far, Pakistan have played eight matches, winning three and loosing three. They would be looking to improve the T20 side and play with aggressive cricket, keeping in mind about the next year’s ICC T20 World Cup in India.

Match Details:

Date: November 07, 2020

Timing: 03:30 PM PKT

Venue: Rawalpindi, Pakistan 

Weather: Rawalpindi have generally been dry and with the afternoon start, there won’t be a dew factor.

Conditions / Pitch Report: There is no exact pitch report but expect the same stripe to be played for the T20I series.

Head to Head:

Matches: 11 | Pakistan: 11 | Zimbabwe: 0 | No Result: 0

Form Guide:

Pakistan: W L NR W W (completed matches, most recent first)

Zimbabwe: L L W W L 

Team News:

1. Pakistan

From the 22 probables, Pakistan dropped Haris Sohail (unfit), Abid Ali and Imam ul-Haq. Furthermore, Shadab Khan, who missed the ODI series due to injury, will miss the first T20I as well. Mohammad Hafeez’s return will boost Pakistan. He has so far a tremendous T20I this year, averaging 119.5 with three fifties.

Shadab’s absence will be a blow. He was the leading wicket-taker in the England T20I series. This means that either one of Usman Qadir or Zafar Gohar could make his T20I debut tomorrow.

Pakistan’s Probable XI:

1. Fakhar Zaman, 2. Babar Azam (C), 3. Haider Ali, 4. Mohammad Hafeez, 5. Mohammad Rizwan/ Rohail Nazir (WK), 6. Khushdil Shah, 7. Imad Wasim, 8. Usman Qadir/ Zafar Gohar, 9. Wahab Riaz, 10. Mohammad Hasnain, 11. Haris Rauf

2. Zimbabwe

With their win in the third ODI via Super Over, Zimbabwe would be determine to go and win the first T20I. They have never beaten Pakistan in the T20I format. Zimbabwe, as they have played the ODI series, will again likely to play with a full strength squad.

The inclusion of Donald Tiripano had strengthen the bowling line-up. Sikandar Raza and Carl Evrine are out of form, unable to score runs. Though Raza did played a handy knock in the third ODI with his 45, he and Evrine will likely to play as well.

Zimbabwe’s Probable XI:

1. Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, 2. Chamu Chibhabha (C), 3. Craig Ervine, 4. Brendan Taylor (WK), 5. Sean Williams, 6. Wesley Madhevere7. Sikandar Raza, 8. Tendai Chisoro, 9. Donald Tiripano, 10. Blessing Muzarabani, 11. Richard Ngavara

Mohammad Hafeez is having a brilliant T20 this year (Photo: Getty Images)

Players to watch:

1. Haider Ali – Batsman, Pakistan

Haider Ali had a debut series to forget. He managed only 42 runs in 29 balls across two innings. But that does not means that it will stop him from being one of the recognized talents out there. Come T20I series, where on his debut he scored 54 in Pakistan’s five runs victory in the series draw. In PSL, he scored 239 runs at an average of almost 30 with a strike rate of brilliant 158. He will be one of the players to watch out for in this short format.

2. Sean Williams – All-Rounder, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe needed needed his experience and he showed why. He played a defining knock in the final ODI that helped Zimbabwe win the match. Now the series moved to the T20I series, he will be required to play a big role to win their first ever T20I match against Pakistan.

3. Mohammad Hafeez – All-Rounder, Pakistan

Five matches, four innings, 239 runs at an average of 119 and striking over 150 with three 50s. These are the Professor’s figures in 2020 and is sixth at the highest run-scorer this year in T20Is. He will return to the national side for the T20I series. Zimbabwe will be vary of his threat. Let’s also not forget that Hafeez enjoys Zimbabwe personally as well as he averages 35 against them, the highest average against a single opposition.

4. Blessing Muzarabani – Bowler, Zimbabwe

His height and skiddy bowling that nips in (nips away to the left-hander) caused a lot of issues to the Pakistan batsmen. He took his maiden five wicket haul in the final ODI match, as well as two wickets in the Super Over, gave Zimbabwe a much needed victory. Pakistan, who have history with short-ball troubles, will be vary of his threat.

Stats and Trivia:

  • Rawalpindi have never hosted a T20 International match before. This will be the first game here.
  • Brendon Taylor is 122 runs away from becoming just the second Zimbabwean batsman to score 1,000 T20I runs.
  • Imad Wasim is 5 wickets away from becoming the eight Pakistani bowler, fifth Pakistan spinner to reach 50 T20Is

Quotes:

“We have to learn from our mistakes. I think it was a good performance for us, but unfortunately, we couldn’t quite get over the line. We need to work on our fielding so we don’t drop so many catches. Those catches give good players second and third chances, and that hurt us in the end.”

  • Babar Azam on Pakistan’s sloppy fielding

“I think we can absolutely beat the bigger teams. We’re tired of competing and getting beaten. That’s no longer acceptable.”

  • Sean Williams on believing that Zimbabwe winning against tougher opposition
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