Clean sweep at home

November 15, 2020

Skipper Babar Azam was the most successful batsman of the T20 series with 133 runs in two matches, averaging 66.50, with a strike rate of 160.24. In both matches he scored a fifty

As was expected, Pakistan won the One-day International and the Twenty20 International series against Zimbabwe quite comfortably. The visitors managed only one ODI win against the Green-shirts.

It was a good series for Pakistan as the management tested youngsters like Haider Ali, Khushdil Shah, Abdullah Shafique, Muhammad Musa and Usman Qadir.

After the T20 series clean sweep, Pakistan now stand on the 4th position with 262 points in the ICC T20 teams ranking. Australia, England and India are ahead of Pakistan.

Skipper Babar Azam was the most successful batsman of the T20 series with 133 runs in two matches, averaging 66.50, with a strike rate of 160.24. In both matches he scored a fifty.

For Zimbabwe, Wesley Madhevere scored 103 runs in three matches, at an average of 51.50, including one fifty.

Pakistan won the ODI series 2-1. But Zimbabwe shocked Pakistan in the third ODI by winning in the super over. This broke their sequence of ten consecutive defeats and gave them only their fifth win over Pakistan in 62 ODIs.

The series gave Pakistan 20 points and Zimbabwe ten in the One-Day Super League, the qualification process for the 2023 World Cup in India.

In the ODI series too, Pakistan captain Babar Azam remained the most successful batsman with 221 runs, averaging 110.50, including one hundred and one fifty.

For Zimbabwe, Brendan Taylor scored 204 runs at an average of 68 with one century and one half-century.

Blessing Muzarabani took 7 wickets at an average of 19.42. For Pakistan, Mohammad Hasnain, Iftikhar Ahmed, Wahab Riaz and Shaheen Afridi took five wickets each.

Paceman Hasnain took his five wickets in one match (5-26) at an average of just 5.26. It was his first five-wicket haul. He shocked the tourists by removing Zimbabwe skipper Chamu Chibhabha, Craig Ervine and Brian Chari in his first four overs of hostile fast bowling.

From October 2018 to the Zimbabwe series, Pakistani opener Fakhar Zaman played 17 T20 matches, but never scored a fifty. During this period, his highest score was 36 against England in August this year. In eight matches he failed to manage double figures.

In the series against Zimbabwe, too, he failed to regain his form and scored only 45 runs in three matches.

Faheem Ashraf is a talented all-rounder, but has failed to utilise his skills so far. In 20 T20 Internationals, he has scored only 133 runs, averaging 11.08. He got out four times without scoring a run.

He has taken 25 wickets at an average of 24.48 and economy rate of 7.41. Even against weak Zimbabwe he bowled eight overs in two matches, and took only one wicket, averaging 55 per wicket.

In 25 ODIs, Faheem has scored 185 runs at an average of just 13.21. He has taken 21 wickets at a high average of 39.57.

Fast bowler Haris Rauf was inducted in the Pakistan squad after his outstanding performance in Australia’s Big Bash League.

In the BBL 2020 season, Haris replaced South African bowler Dale Steyn and proved his selection right by taking 16 wickets in seven matches for Melbourne Stars, which included a hat-trick.

But in the two ODIs he played in the home series against Zimbabwe, he remained ineffective and took only one wicket, conceding 88 runs.

Despite his ordinary performance in ODI series, he was given a chance in the T20 series in which he took six wickets, averaging 15.66.

Overall, he has played eight T20 Internationals, taking 11 wickets at an average of 23.63 with an economy rate of 8.39.

Usman Qadir, son of former great leg-spinner Abdul Qadir, was the find of the series. In his T20I debut series, he took eight wickets in three matches at an average of just 7.50.

Meanwhile, Babar has been appointed Pakistan’s Test captain as Azhar Ali has been removed.

Azhar had replaced Sarfraz Ahmed as captain of the Test team in October 2019 ahead of the team’s Australia tour. Azhar led Pakistan in eight Test matches, won against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, but lost three Tests against Australia and England.

With the end of the Pakistan series, former Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura retired from all forms of international cricket.

He made his international debut on April 20, 2004, at the age of 18, against Sri Lanka in Harare. He played 14 Tests, 213 one-day internationals and 57 T20I matches for Zimbabwe. The 34-year-old all-rounder served as Zimbabwe’s limited-overs captain from August 2014 before stepping down in January 2016.

Chigumbura is one of Zimbabwe’s most-capped players with 284 international matches, in which he scored 5,802 runs and took 138 wickets.

Clean sweep at home