ZIMBABWE will be aiming to keep their series with Pakistan alive when the two clash in the third of five one-day international matches at Queens Sports Club this morning.
by KEVIN MAPASURE
This series has so far been a one-sided affair and there has not been any evidence that Zimbabwe might rise from the dead and put themselves back in the frame against this efficient Pakistan side.
The home side has had to field a reserve side as some of the key players continue to sideline themselves as their problems with the administration show no signs of coming to an end soon.
In the meantime the selectors have to work with a squad without stars such as Brendan Taylor, Graeme Cremer, Sikandar Raza and Craig Ervine to mention but four.
And considering the resources that are available, Zimbabwe can ill afford that. The problems have been compounded by the injury to Solomon Mire who shined with the bat in the T-20 triangular series that also involved Australia earlier this month.
While the tourists are probably thinking of a whitewash, Zimbabwe is fixated on at least giving it a fight.
Even one win under the circumstances, will be an achievement.
After being thrashed by 201 runs and then by nine wickets in the second match on Monday, there is a lot to work on for Zimbabwe to give themselves a chance in the third match today.
They may need some changes, but who to bring on is the question. They do have some experience in the ranks and they will back themselves to produce an upset, particularly with the presence of Hamilton Masakadza in the side, they know that if he can fire they may have a chance.
It is the back-up that they may struggle for although the likes of Peter Moor and Tarisai Musakanda have shown that they can be up to the task. The opening partnership that has so far featured Chamu Chibhabha, who has a lot of potential, and Brian Chari has failed to provide the solid platform with the bat.
Today the duo, if thrust in again, will be looking to justify their places in the team. Chibhabha has been in and out of the side over the last few years while Chari has mostly been called up in Test cricket, but he wants to show that he is just as able in this format of the game.
This is naturally a fight for places for most of the players in this team who have failed to nail down places when everyone is available.
They know, however, that they face a tough task against a very good bowling unit that includes among others Mohammad Amir, Usman Khana and Hasan Ali.
The Zimbabwean bowlers had a tough time on Monday, taking just one wicket through a run out and today they will be looking for more success.
For them, it’s another tough assignment against a very confident batting unit that knows how to put opponents under pressure.
All hope is that it will not be another one-sided affair for the fans who want to see a good game of cricket.
For Zimbabwe it’s about showing a fighting spirit and hoping to pull out a surprise that would spur them on in the last two matches.