HARARE: It was a decision that left Pakistan in dismay and Shoaib Malik furious but umpires calling the players off for bad light meant that Zimbabwe won the second ODI by five runs (D/L method) to register their first victory against Pakistan in over two years. Having squared the series, the hosts will enter the third ODI seeking a historic bilateral ODI series win, something which they have never achieved against Pakistan. However, it won't be easy going at all for Zimbabwe as Azhar Ali's men, seething after the controversial loss, will look to hit back hard.
Under pressure after being skittled out for 128 in an embarrassing defeat in the first ODI, Zimbabwe batsmen showed good application in the second game as they finished with a healthy total. Skipper Elton Chigumbura, who was one of two half-centurions for Zimbabwe, will expect a similar effort from the batsmen in the final game of the series. The hosts will be slightly worried with their bowling, considering that they nearly let the game slip after reducing Pakistan to 76/6 at one stage. Zimbabwe will also hope that spinner Graeme Cremer, who injured himself, in the second ODI, is available to take the field for the decider.
Probable XI: Brian Chari, Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Elton Chigumbura (c), Richmond Mutumbami (wk), Luke Jongwe, Graeme Cremer, Tinashe Panyangara, John Nyumbu
Pakistan have a lot of problems with their batting order, especially the ones at the top, who have been a big let down in the series so far. The skipper himself is due for runs while the likes of Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad and Asad Shafiq haven't done much either with the bat. The lower order, which has been bailing the team out of trouble, will be hoping for the top-order batsmen to get the team off to a good start at least once in this series. Pakistan do not have too many problems as far as the bowling line-up is concerned, but death bowling is an area of concern.
Probable XI: Azhar Ali (c), Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan, Imad Wasim, Aamer Yamin, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Irfan