Well as all would have predicted, Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by a whopping 85 runs at Harare yesterday with contributions pouring in from all the batsmen who took it to the crease. There is little to be argued about keeping in mind the caliber of the Zimbabwe team who have made news only for the bad reasons when in 2005 they were stripped off their test status and had a series of losses to Bangladesh, by now who have become Bangladesh's best friend in cricket. Zimbabwe more often play Bangladesh and most of the time it is Bangladesh who walk away with all the honor.
Every year there would be a tour consisting of Zimbabwe and Bangladesh where either of them tour the other country for a full fledged series. This would be a delight for Bangladesh who can boast of a win. Had there been no Zimbabwe, Bangladesh would have lost all the test matches they would have played and may be their test status as well. One can see the scorecard to find the 15 wide deliveries bowled by the Zimbabwean bowlers out of the total of 198. If not for those wides also, Pakistan would have emerged victorious. It was a wrong idea to have Pakistan play Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe are best suited to play lesser known teams like Holland, Scotland, Ireland, Bermuda etc and not some Pakistan. Even against those teams, there are greater chances of Zimbabwe losing with Ireland and Kenya playing better cricket compared to what is expected out from them. There would be no point in looking for mistakes in the Pakistani batting which included contributions from Mohammed Hafeez, Asad Shafiq, Rameez Raja and Umar Akmal. Had Pakistan used its brains, they would have rested their key players and tried in some lesser known names. But, who can convince the PCB to try that out?
The Zimbabwean batsmen failed to even play their full 20 overs when their innings ended in the 98th ball of the innings after scoring 113 runs. Though that would be something harsh to expect from Zimbabwe, teams like Ireland are found to do wonders. The highest individual score from Zimbabwe happened to be from the blades of Charles Coventry who scored 30 from 13 balls that included four boundaries and one six. Coventry came in at number 7 and Zimbabwe had to wait until the sixth wicket fell. Though a victory over Pakistan is not expected from Zimbabwe, a decent performance is definitely looked forward from them.