Zimbabwe confidence high after ODI win for Pakistan T20s

RIZWAN ALI
·2-min read

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (AP) — Beating Pakistan at the end of the one-day international series has energized Zimbabwe for their Twenty20 series starting on Saturday.

In a thrilling third ODI on Tuesday, Zimbabwe conceded a tie after 100 overs but won it in a super over to end a 10-match losing streak and deny Pakistan a series sweep.

"Our last game that we won, I thought we were the better team than Pakistan and we all believe that,” Zimbabwe skipper Chamu Chibhabha said on Friday by video conference.

“And it’s up to us to execute that (belief) on the field, to get the results that we want. We honestly believe we’re a better team and we’re capable of winning the T20 series.”

They have been inspired by centuries from Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams, and fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani taking seven wickets in the third ODI, five in the regular 50-over game and two in the super over. Muzarabani and his fellow pacemen have found their groove on the lively pitches at Pindi Cricket Stadium, and are confident of beating Pakistan, which has won all previous 11 T20s.

“When we came here, we’d never beaten Pakistan in Pakistan (in ODIs) in the last 22 years, but we managed to do that,” Chibhabha said. “So it just goes to show that if you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything.

“The attitude in the camp is about winning games, no more excuses, and that’s what we are focusing on.”

Poor fielding hurt Pakistan more than its bowling or batting in the third ODI as Williams was dropped at least three times. But Pakistan still won the series 2-1, and is favored to win the T20 series, too.

Pakistan will be strengthened by the return of its most experienced T20 player, allrounder Mohammad Hafeez. But Shadab Khan continues to recover from a leg injury which ruled him out of the ODIs, and the legspinner will also miss the first T20.

Captain Babar Azam said Pakistan will continue to develop depth after awarding ODI debuts to fast bowlers Musa Khan and Haris Rauf, allrounder Khushdil Shah, and middle-order batsman Haider Ali.

“The defeat in the last game hasn’t brought down the confidence of the team," Azam said, "and we are quite hopeful that in Twenty20s we will come out good.”

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