Near-wins frustrate Zim players

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THE Zimbabwe national cricket team members are frustrated with their continued failure to grasp winning opportunities often falling narrowly short despite claiming big scalps, but are focused on putting that right when they square up with Pakistan at the Gaddafi Stadium in the first one-day international (ODI).

BY KEVIN MAPASURE IN LAHORE, PASKISTAN

The match is a day/night game.

Since Dav Whatmore took over as coach, Zimbabwe has won just one competitive match, when they beat Afghanistan at the 2015 World Cup. More often than not they have dragged themselves close to winning, but they have never taken their chances.

Zimbabwe could and should have won matches against South Africa, Pakistan and Ireland at the World Cup and also had a decent chance against India.

All those opportunities were fumbled the same way as Chamu Chibhabha and Chris Mpofu spilled two catches that could have eased Zimbabwe into a comfortable win against Pakistan in the second and final T-20 match of this series on Sunday.

After the match, middle order batsman Sean Williams expressed frustration at the way Zimbabwe had failed to win the match.

Batting first Zimbabwe made 175 runs at the loss of just three wickets and the team feels having managed to keep their wickets they should have put up a much bigger score. And then their failure to bowl the right balls at crucial times as well as the dropped catches all contributed to more frustration.

“Its so frustrating, its just the small things that we are failing to do, we should have won this match, said Williams. It’s strange how we just fail ourselves. This match was in the bag, but we threw it away. We put down catches and we had more extras, it’s those small things that make the difference, Pakistan were under a lot of pressure. It has been happening to us for a long time now and really need to find a way to correct it.”

Williams said that he was convinced Zimbabwe will be able to win at least one of the matches in the ODI series.

“Pakistan is a very strong team, but we back ourselves and we know we can play well and we have shown that we can give ourselves a chance to win here in Pakistan territory. They will be stronger in this format but we also need to come out fighting.”

Pakistan ODI captain Azah Ali said that he was impressed with Zimbabwe’s batting.

Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura, who played well in the T-20s wants his team do everything right for once.

“We batted well in the T-20s. We did not bowl well and we were bad in the field,” said Chigumbura. “We just want to put everything together and we know we can win against Pakistan we have the confidence. We can see there is a good opportunity to win some matches here.”

Pakistan ODI squad: Azhar Ali (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Shoaib Malik,Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Anwar Ali, Hammad Azam, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Sami, Junaid Khan.

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