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Friday May 20, 2022

Pakistan eye whitewash against hapless Zimbabwe

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe: After cruising to victories in the previous matches of the series, Pakistan will be looking to secure a whitewash to further boost their morale when they face Zimbabwe in the fifth One-day International at Queens Sports Club here on Sunday (today).

By Agencies
July 22, 2018

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe: After cruising to victories in the previous matches of the series, Pakistan will be looking to secure a whitewash to further boost their morale when they face Zimbabwe in the fifth One-day International at Queens Sports Club here on Sunday (today).

In the four ODIs so far, Pakistan have completely outplayed the hosts across departments –- they won the first game by 201 runs, secured nine-wicket wins in the second and third ODIs, and a massive 244-run win in fourth match on Friday.

Pakistan have already won the series and seemingly have nothing to lose from here. But captain Sarfraz Ahmed must be aware that the opportunity to do the sweep doesn’t come around too often.

In the fourth ODI, in-form opener Fakhar Zaman scored an unbeaten double-century and broke Saeed Anwar’s record in a sensational batting display.

Pakistan went on to score 399 — their highest team total in One-day Internationals.

Zimbabwe’s priority will be to shore up their bowling. The onus will be on the bowlers to step up and take charge.

Their batsmen need to improve as well. The highest score Zimbabwe have managed so far is the 194 in the second ODI.

The likes of Masakadza, Peter Moor, Elton Chigumbura, Ryan Murray and Donald Tiripano have managed decent starts, but a failure to convert them into big totals has hampered the team.

Tarisai Musakanda has also shown glimpses of what he could offer Zimbabwe in the long term. But most of his contributions have been in the form of cameos. He reached double figures in all but one of the last eight innings, but only once crossed 40.

Pakistan played two combinations across four games, and have played nearly every batting reserve on the bench other than Mohammad Hafeez and Haris Sohail, who had to return home after his daughter’s illness.

Mohammad Nawaz is the only bowler unused throughout the ODIs. There is a chance that Hafeez and Nawaz could be given a chance on Sunday.

The weather is expected to remain cool, but the pitch has dried out since the first game, and another runfest could be on the cards, particularly if Pakistan bat first.

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