ZIMBABWE will be seeking a bowling improvement in the second and final T-20 international match against hosts Pakistan when the two nations square-off this evening.
By Kevin Mapasure in Lahore, Pakistan
The two nations return to battle as Zimbabwe continues its search for a maiden win against the hosts, while Pakistan will be hoping to continue to please their multitudes of supporters with another win.
The first T-20 which Pakistan won by five wickets was the first international featuring full members since 2009.
The focus has since shifted from security issues as cricket takes centre stage in Lahore.
Zimbabwe skipper Elton Chigumbura, who hit an entertaining 54 as Zimbabwe accumulated 172 in the first match, is looking forward to playing in front of another sellout crowd.
“It was an exciting experience playing in front of such a crowd,” said Chigumbura. “For us the focus is to try and improve our game in certain areas, particularly the way we bowled in the first 12 overs of the opening match.”
Chigumbura was pleased with his return to form having been promoted to number four where he had more time to influence the match. Opening batsman Hamilton Masakadza had provided a perfect platform with 43 runs off 27 deliveries but the rest of the batsmen got the starts yet failed to capitalise and score big.
Some of the players clearly struggled in the sweltering conditions and the temperatures seem not to do any favours to the tourists.
Opening batsman Vusi Sibanda will want to do better than his 13 runs in the first match where he dug in but failed to kick off afterwards. Charles Coventry will probably feel the same having hit his brisk 14 before he was sent back. But it is the bowlers who will strive the right spots having been brutalised by the Pakistan opening pair of Mukhtar Ahmed and Ahmed Shehzad, who put on an opening stand of 142 in the first match.
Seamers Chris Mpofu, Tinashe Panyangara and Brian Vitori all struggled against the dominant openers and today present an opportunity for Zimbabwe to put things right.
Grame Cremer might have been pleased with his two wickets on return to international cricket and he will crave for more today. Both teams are motivated to win, especially as both had disappointed in their previous internationals.