Zimbabwe vs. Pakistan 2nd Test: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
Pakistan and Zimbabwe return to the same ground and the same pitch where the 221-run mauling was handed out to the hosts—mauling in terms of the stats behind the defeat, not the show of authority and resolve.
Zimbabwe were in total command for the first seven sessions, bundling out Pakistan for a below-par total before taking what was a healthy lead in the circumstances. They were without their first-choice XI, including captain Brendan Taylor, but determination and the level of conscientiousness allowed them a slight sniff of an upset.
Trampled first was their chance of victory by Younus Khan and later their hopes of survival by Junaid Khan faltered miserably on the final straight.
Taylor’s return, changes
Taylor will be back to not only lead the side but also bolster the batting lineup that performed beyond expectations in the first innings and folded miserably in the second.
Sean Williams, after having sorted out his problems with the board, may also be shoved in. But who will Zimbabwe drop? Tino Mawoyo failed to live up to expectations, and with Taylor’s return, Hamilton Masakadza (the stand-in captain) looks set to return to the top and replace Mawoyo.
Elton Chigumbura might have been the other person to miss out had it not been for his significant contribution with the bat—and mysterious under-utilisation with the ball. Although Taylor is reluctant to don the keeping gloves in the longest format, he might just take over from Richmond Mutumbami despite the latter having a clean match.
Can Zimbabwe last five days?
Despite the reinforcements, will Zimbabwe be able to maintain their levels of dominance and concentration for five days?
Younus wasn’t in the best form of his life, and the strokes illustrated that aptly. But he managed to grind it out, accelerating as he got up to grips with the bowling and the conditions, and ended it with a lofted six over the bowler’s head. The hosts had ample chance to observe that innings but failed to apply it when it mattered. But Taylor’s men will need to ensure lessons are learnt from the opening-Test defeat, and that they not only try to overcome the major obstacle that is Saeed Ajmal, but also play Junaid better at the top.
Pakistan’s frailty at the top of the order will also give the hosts a lot of confidence, but they need to ensure that the tourists—with a knack of going into a shell first-up—are contained there.
Will Pakistan tinker with the winning combination?
If Pakistan had an experienced opener on the bench, Mohammad Hafeez might have missed the opening Test given his injury in the final ODI.
But Pakistan's knack of playing through pain—for the fear of losing their place to a youngster—and the tourists’ lack of experience at the top forced Hafeez’s inclusion. He didn’t bowl and managed just 21 runs but, unless he has aggravated the injury, the Twenty20 captain will make the cut once again.
Misbah and the team management will be reluctant to change the winning combination, which will mean another chance for Khurram Manzoor and the underperforming Asad Shafiq. Abdur Rehman found his form in the second innings with plenty of turn and plenty of wickets, and although Rahat Ali managed a solitary wicket, his antics with the bat—an unbeaten 35 partnering Younus—will surely help him keep his place as well.
Pakistan’s top-order issues aside, the tourists look formidable elsewhere. Younus and Misbah remain the backbone, Azhar Ali continues to score and Adnan Akmal hit his career-best in the opening Test. Younus’ innings wasn’t the most stylish to look at, but his 10-hour vigil remained the turning point of the match.
If the Pakistanis can make it a point to stay out in the middle longer while batting, Zimbabwe’s bowlers might find it difficult to repeat their opening-Test feat.
The second Test was due to be played in Bulawayo, but midway through the Harare Test, an announcement at the ground informed the spectators—and the players—of the change.
The host board is set to save around $50,000 by the switch but that leaves he groundsmen in a race against time to have the pitch ready in time for the Tuesday morning start.
The captains have expressed their concerns, but a deteriorating pitch will help the tourists more than the hosts given the presence of Ajmal and Rehman. Batting fourth will become an issue yet again, so expect the captain who wins the toss to have a go first-up.
Zimbabwe showed a lot of passion and vigour to put their off-field issues aside and give Pakistan a mighty scare.
Should Hafeez be opening the innings in Test matches?
Younus did undo all the hard work, though, but the zeal and level of energy on show before that will force Pakistan to re-think their strategy for the second match. The tourists won’t lose the series now, but they wouldn’t want to draw it either—having lost to South Africa and Sri Lanka before this.
The hosts will be buoyed by the return of their captain—and hopefully Williams—but Pakistan would’ve learnt a lesson or two as well. There is also the Ajmal factor that Zimbabwe will need to deal with and their woes against the left-arm pace early in the day.
Given that, it is difficult to envisage a Zimbabwe upset; giving Pakistan another mighty scare is what the hosts will come up with at best.
Where to watch
September 10, 2013, at 9 a.m. BST (10 a.m. local time, 2 p.m. PST)
Pakistan: PTV Sports
Zimbabwe: Super Sport
UK: Zee Cinema
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?