Pakistan had been flying high since beating South Africa in South Africa but received a timely wakeup call and were brought down to earth, thanks to their stunning defeat in the second T20I on Friday.
All the Men in Green had to do was chase down 119 and they were 78-3 at one point, with one of world’s premier T20 batsmen at the crease in the form of Babar Azam. They lost their remaining seven wickets for the addition of a mere 21 runs and suffered arguably the most humiliating defeat of their T20 history.
The blame deservedly lies with the batsmen for failing with the most basic of task and management for not taking their hosts seriously. The captain and head coach also need to ask themselves why they keep on giving chances to Asif Ali, who has so clearly been found out in international cricket. The tail, too, was kept unnecessarily long, considering that the wicket’s difficulty had been discovered in the previous game.
The three most obvious replacements for the bunch that failed are Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz and Shaheen Afridi.
Zimbabwe: The hosts secured a famous victory over Pakistan but should be well aware that they, too, did not set the world alight with their batting. Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, for the second straight match, was among the runs but captain Brendan Taylor, of whom much was expected, failed.
Ryan Burl, too, did not do much with the bat as Zimbabwe got a variety of contributions from everywhere and got to what seemed like an indefensible total.
But then Zimbabwe bowlers took over in the second innings, capitalizing on the nature of the wicket and big boundaries to suffocate Pakistan batsmen, whose frustration often translated into wickets.
The result aside, Zimbabwe still need work done in batting and should be prepared for a full-blown Pakistan attack in the decider tomorrow.