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Zimbabwe vs Pakistan 2nd T20I Preview: Pakistan might take a couple of games to adjust to the slow pitches

Mohammad Rizwan
Mohammad Rizwan
©©Zimbabwe Cricket/PCB

After playing on the quick and bouncy pitches of South Africa, Pakistan might take a couple of games to adjust to the low and slow surfaces of Zimbabwe.

LIVE - Zimbabwe vs Pakistan 2nd T20I

Zimbabwe sweat over Taylor's availability

Zimbabwe were bolstered with the inclusion of Craig Ervine and Brendan Taylor in their T20I squad. However, they suffered a setback when Taylor was not able to make the XI due to sickness.

It will be interesting to see whether the batsman has recovered from his gastrointestinal infection for the second T20I.

Pakistan rest main bowlers

Pakistan also made a couple of interesting moves, resting both Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali. They played Haris Rauf and Mohd Hasnain as their top pacers instead, who did a brilliant job. Danish Aziz was also given a go.

Usman Qadir played as Pakistan's main spinner and did the job for the team.

Pakistan's batting collapse

Zimbabwe have faced Pakistan in 15 T20 Internationals and have lost each of them. This includes their 11-run defeat in the first match of the three match T20I series.

A lot of things went in Zimbabwe's favour in the series opener but the team could not close the match out. After winning the toss, Zimbabwe put in Pakistan to bat first and had the best of the conditions.

There was a bit in it for the bowlers early on and the Zimbabwe bowlers made good use of it, reducing Pakistan to 100/6. The team broke through early when Blessing Muzarabani had Pakistan captain Babar Azam caught in just the second over. Pakistan suffered a collapse after that, with one wicket falling after another.

Rizwan keeps Jongwe, Madhevere at bay

Mohd Rizwan was the only batsman who could spend time at the crease and showed how that could be beneficial. Pakistan would have managed around just 130 had he not taken 20 runs of the final over of the innings to take Pakistan to a respectable total of 149.

Luke Jongwe was the most impressive bowler for Zimbabwe and picked up two wickets while conceding just 24 runs from his 3 overs. Wesley Madhevere was also brilliant with figures of 2-0-11-2. Blessing Muzarabani kept the pressure on the Pakistan batsman at all times giving, away just 22 runs while picking up one wicket from his 4 overs.

Zimbabwe lose momentum

Zimbabwe were in a brilliant position at 77/2 in the 11th over with a 56-run partnership between Tinashe Kamunhukamwe and Craig Ervine. They let Pakistan in the game when Ervine, who took 11 off Usman Qadir's first over, tried to be inventive against the leg spinner, playing a reverse sweep and paid the price, top edging one to Mohammad Nawaz. 

Despite Luke Jongwe's valiant effort of unbeaten 33 from 23 balls, Mohd Hasnain and Haris Rauf bowled brilliantly in the last couple of overs to hold Zimbabwe 11 runs short of the total.

Usman Qadir was the best bowler for Pakistan and took 3 wickets while conceding 29 runs from his 4 overs. Mohd Hasnain also picked up 2 wickets from his 4 overs - bowling at an economy rate of 6.80.

Zimbabwe were in fact in the driver's seat during their 56-run partnership for the third wicket. However, they gave the initiative away. 

The Pakistan spinners were too good for the Zimbabwe batsmen. Usman Qadir, in particular, boggled them with his googlies as the Zimbabwe batsmen failed to read them time and again, as was the case in their last series against Afghanistan when Rashid Khan proved a handful for them.

Team changes

If Brendan Taylor has recovered, he is likely to replace Tadiwanashe Marumani in the team. The other options that the team has are Donald Tiripano, Tanaka Chivanga and Tapiwa Mufudza.

Pakistan are unlikely to make any changes to their XI in this game as they would like to win the series first before trying out their bench in the 3rd match.

Let's have a look at the probable playing XIs:

- Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Wesley Madhevere, Brendan Taylor/Tadiwanashe Marumani, Craig Ervine, Sean Williams (c), Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva (wk), Luke Jongwe, Wellington Masakadza, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava 

Pakistan - Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Usman Qadir, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf

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