Pakistan cantered to a nine-wicket win in the third one-day international to clinch the ODI series. Their bowlers did not even break a sweat and clearly exposed the chinks in Zimbabweans batting department. Now Sarfraz's men the have chance to add another series sweep to their name if they beat hosts in remaining two fixtures. For now Both these sides once again clash in the fourth ODI at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Friday, July 20.
The visitors have been absolutely clinical in both the batting and bowling departments in this series. While they won the first game by 201 runs, they secured a comfortable nine-wicket win in each of the following two games.
With the bat, Fakhar Zaman has been in form of his life and has scored the most runs for the side so far with scores of 60, 117* and 43* in his respective three innings and is one of the favourite contenders for Man of the series title.
While his opening partner Imam ul Haq hit 128 from 134 balls in the opening fixture steering Pakistan to a huge total and both these batsmen have become the core of their batting lineup.
With the ball, Shadab Khan was the pick of the bowlers in the first game with economical figures of 4/32 in nine overs. While in previous fixture Faheem Ashraf thrashed the African line-up with impressive figures of 5/22 in 8.1 overs.
He was well supported by Junaid Khan and Yasir Shah, who took 2/7 and 1/10 in five and seven overs respectively. Skipper Sarfraz will expect them to deliver in the fourth fixture as well.
Expected Playing XI: Sarfraz Ahmed (C), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Usman Khan, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Yasir Shah, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Junaid Khan and Shadab Khan.
Hosts have now lost all the six matches they have played against Pakistan at the Queens Sports Club in this format.
They made as many as four changes to their side in the previous ODI. They replaced batsman Brian Chari with Prince Masvaure and bowlers Donald Tiripano, Liam Nicholas Roche and Tendai Chatara with Elton Chigumbura, Tendai Chisoro and Richard Ngarava respectively. But the decision backfired as none of them was able to even face the Pakistani lineup.
With the bat, Zimbabweans need a much better effort with the bat and they will be hoping that their top-order batsmen Hamilton Masakadza and Chamu Chibhabha can set the tone for the team.
Masakadza and Peter Moor, one of the team's leading ODI run-getters, hit a fifty each in the second game but were unable to replicate their performance in the previous game as the African Nation suffered a massive defeat.
With the ball, Blessing Muzarabani was the only bower to pick the sole wicket in the third match as he dismissed Pakistan's opening batsman Imam Ul Haq. While Wellington Masakadza has 16 wickets in this format and he is the go-to man for the hosts when it comes to spin.
Expected Playing XI: Hamilton Masakadza (C), Tarisai Musakanda, Peter Moor, Ryan Murray, Wellington Masakadza, Tendai Chatara, Blessing Muzarabani, Brian Chari, Chamu Chibhabha, Donald Tiripano and Liam Nicholas.Published 20 Jul 2018, 01:38 IST