WITH the series already lost, Zimbabwe will play for pride in the fourth One-Day International against Pakistan in Bulawayo today. After humbling defeats at the hands of the visitors, including being bowled out for 67 in the third ODI, the hosts will be itching to put their game together and prevent a whitewash.
Pakistan lead the five-match series 3-0.
Zimbabwe have just not clicked as a team in any of the three games played so far and Pakistan have dominated.
Pakistan won the first ODI by a massive 201 runs and the following two games by nine wickets.
Zimbabwe’s highest team total in the series so far has been 194, while Pakistan notched up 308 in the first ODI.
A young and inexperienced Zimbabwe side has found the going tough against an experienced and in-form Pakistan.
While Faheem Ashraf was the wrecker-in-chief for the visitors in their series-clinching game two days ago with his five-wicket haul, Usman Khan Shinwari (seven wickets from three games) has also been equally effective.
They have also been assisted by leg-spinner Shadab Khan (five wickets).
Among the batters, Fakhar Zaman seems to be in the form of his life, having notched up 220 runs in the series at a strike rate of 98.65 with a century – 117* – in the second ODI.
The hosts made several changes to their playing XI for the third ODI, with Prince Masvaure replacing Brian Chari, Elton Chigumbura coming in for Tendai Chatara and Liam Roche, who was handed his ODI cap in this series, dropped after two matches. However, none of these changes to could inspire a turnaround.
Pakistan chased down their target of 68 in just 9.5 overs.
The visitors, charging towards a series whitewash, may be tempted to make a few changes to their XI, bringing in Yasir Shah, their premier Test spinner, left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz and opening bat Haris Sohail.
Zimbabwe: Hamilton Masakadza (c), Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Ryan Murray, Peter Moor, Tarisai Musakanda, Blessing Muzarabani, Liam Nicholas Roche, Malcolm Waller, Brian Chari, Chamu Chibhabha, Elton Chigumbura, Tendai Chisoro, Tendai Chatara, Wellington Masakadza, Richard Ngarava, Donald Tiripano
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Babar Azam, Asif Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Usman Khan, Yasir Shah, Hasan Ali, Haris Sohail – ICC/Sports Reporter.