Zimbabwe have much to do in the final one-day international against Pakistan to ensure they are spared the ignominy of a whitewash. They have their task cut out, though. In the four ODIs so far, Pakistan have completely outplayed them across departments – the visitors won the first game by 201 runs, secured nine-wicket wins in the second and third ODIs, and a massive 244-run win in fourth match on Friday, 20 July. Pakistan have already sealed the series, and seemingly have nothing to lose from here. But the opportunity to do the sweep doesn't come around too often, and that will serve as motivation for the final ODI.
To keep them at bay, Zimbabwe's priority will be to shore up their bowling. In the fourth ODI, Fakhar Zaman's unbeaten double-century headlined a record-breaking batting display from Pakistan, but Zimbabwe's attack didn't really pose them a threat either. That will have to change on Sunday, and the onus is on the bowlers to step up and take charge. Their batting needs drastic improvement as well. The highest score Zimbabwe have managed so far is the 194 in the second ODI. The likes of Masakadza, Peter Moor, Elton Chigumbura, Ryan Murray and Donald Tiripano have managed decent starts, but a failure to convert them into big totals have hampered the team. Zimbabwe will need their batsmen to build partnerships and put a prize on their wickets. If they can manage that, Zimbabwe might just avoid the whitewash.
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First Published: July 22, 2018, 12:29 PM IST