In the end it came out as it was expected.
By Kevin Mapasure
The Zimbabwe national cricket team got thrashed by 74 runs in the opening match of the T-20 tri-series against Pakistan.
After all the drama that preceded this match, even the team’s die-hards would have anticipated a difficult start to this series that also includes Australia.
With key players such as Brendan Taylor and Sikandar Raza out of the side, it was interesting to see how the team would cope.
They didn’t fare well in that regard as they were outplayed by the tourists in all aspects of the game.
After winning the toss, Zimbabwe, captained by Hamilton Masakadza, chose to field first and Pakistan were happy to bat first where they put in a huge total of 182 for 4.
Fakhar Zaman top-scored for the visitors with 61 off just 40 balls, Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali remained unbeaten on 37 and 41 respectively.
Zimbabwe’s bowlers had a tough morning with Blessing Muzarabani shipping in 46 runs from four overs.
John Nyumbu, making a return to the team after two years, out-conceded 32 runs from his three overs.
Seam bowler Kyle Jarvis took the wicket of Mohammad Hafeez before he injured himself while fielding. He was immediately taken to hospital for ex-rays.
Tendai Chisoro was the pick of the Zimbabwean bowlers with 2/28 in four overs.
After Pakistan had set such an imposing total, the task was always going to be a tough one for the hosts.
Zimbabwe had two runs on the board when the wicket of Chamu Chabhabha tumbled after he was trapped for a duck.
Zimbabwe never recovered from that early set back, Masakadza returned to the hut with just seven runs to his name.
Tarisai Musakanda was the best batsmen for Zimbabwe with an entertaining 43 that came off 35 balls where he hit two boundaries.
Solomon Mire hit two of Zimbabwe’s four sixes but he fell on 28.
The only other double figures came from Elton Chigumbura with his 14, and was bowled out by Hassan Ali.
The former Zimbabwe captain was making a return after a long spell on the sidelines.
After this defeat, Zimbabwe will be looking to bounce back into contention when they take on Australia, who play Pakistan today.
They hosts will be looking to put their problems behind them and at least give it a fight in this series.