Zimbabwe vs Pakistan: Depleted hosts no match for confident visitors

Pakistan set to pile more misery on struggling Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe were no match for Pakistan in the T20 Tri-Series and are predicted to struggle in One Day cricket. (JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Zimbabwe vs Pakistan 1st ODI Preview & Betting Tips


Zimbabwe host Pakistan in the 1st ODI of the five-match series at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Friday. Zimbabwe lost all their T20Is in the recently concluded T20I Tri-series involving Australia and Pakistan and are unlikely to trouble the Men in Green here. 

Zimbabwe


After losing key players due to payment disputes with the cricket board, Zimbabwe were further depleted as injuries robbed them of star players. All-rounder Solomon Mire with a gluteal tear and fast bowler Kyle Jarvis with a fractured thumb have been ruled out of the series.

With 5,355 runs in 193 ODIs, captain Hamilton Masakadza is their most experienced batsman and will have to lead the way along with Elton Chigumbura who has 4,178 runs from 202 ODIs.

The batting potential of Tarisai Musakanda and Peter Moor makes exciting reading, but the duo have to deliver for the hosts to have any hopes of competing. With the ball, it will be the exciting quick Blessing Muzarabani who will be watched with expectant eyes. 

Pakistan


Pakistan have picked up form at the right time in the T20I Tri-series to win the title. It was a comprehensive performance highlighted by their superior batting skill which will give them an edge in the ODI series as well.

Fakhar Zaman has 550 runs in 13 ODIs with a SR of 94.33 and two 50+ scores in his last four matches. After the form in the T20I series where he scored 278 runs at a SR of 157.06, he looks set to lead the ODI charts.

Babar Azam with 1,789 runs in 41 ODIs and an average of 51.11 will be another key player with his consistency. Captain Sarfraz Ahmed has an envious bowling attack at his disposal, highlighted by the quicks Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali and leg-spinner Shadab Khan.

Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman is in great form and tipped to lead the way against Zimbabwe. (ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Match Up


Pakistan’s last stint in the format was the five-match ODI series against New Zealand which they lost 5-0. The conditions favoured the Kiwis with the swinging ball proving tough for Pakistan batsmen to post competitive totals.

Zimbabwe’s last tournament in ODI colours was the ICC Cricket World Cup qualifier in March that ended in a heartbreak. A series that started with three wins and one tie soon took a downward spiral as two consecutive losses dumped them out of World Cup qualification.

With the regular starters still in the wilderness, Zimbabwe’s squad for this series remains a long shot from being competitive.

Key Statistics


  • Zimbabwe have lost 8 of their last 13 ODIs.
  • Zimbabwe have won 3 of their last 5 ODIs at this venue.
  • Pakistan have won 9 of their last 14 ODIs.
  • Pakistan have won 47 of 54 ODIs against Zimbabwe, losing only 4.
  • Pakistan have won 7 of last 9 ODIs against Zimbabwe.
  • Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman has 2 50s in his last 4 ODIs.

Verdict


Pakistan have had a horrendous ODI run in New Zealand but should relish the return to familiar conditions against a wounded opponent. 

Fakhar Zaman should be itching to carry his scoring streak from the T20Is to ODIs and he looks primed for another big knock.

Best Bet: Pakistan Most Match Sixes @ 1.61
A Hundred to be Scored in the Match: Yes @ 2.30
Pakistan Top Batsman: Fakhar Zaman @ 4.00
Freetips staff 11 July 2018

One Day Internationals Previews & Tips