Pakistan’s unpredictability reared its head once again. As has often been the case, Pakistan once again oscillated from insurmountable to downright mediocre in a short span of time. They showed every shade of brilliance in South Africa and come Zimbabwe, every shade of being patchy was on full display.
Zimbabwe on the other hand made headlines with their 19-run win against a side which was on top of their game when they arrived in the African country. Luke Jongwe’s four-fer and his shoe-turned-phone celebration is the latest entry into cricketing folklore.
Heading into the decider with a series parity in place, Pakistan are still favourites despite suffering a shock defeat in the second game. They’d want to believe in the adage lightning doesn’t strike twice, and hope some rub of the green at the toss too.
Zimbabwe, on the other hand, would want their batsmen to step up. Their bowling has got them to within touching distance of history, now it is up to the batsmen to do enough to take them over the line. Brendan Taylor and Craig Ervine have to up their game for that to happen and expect others to chip in with handy performances.
There will be some changes for Pakistan. Sarfaraz Ahmed might replace the out of sorts Asif Ali to bolster the middle order while Shaheen Shah and Hasan Ali can also be a part of the playing eleven.
Zimbabwe are unlikely to make any changes and will like to keep the winning combination going.
Probable playing XI
Zimbabwe: Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Wesley Madhevere, Brendan Taylor, Craig Ervine, Sean Williams (c), Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva (wk), Luke Jongwe, Wellington Masakadza, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Danish Aziz, Asif Ali/Sarfaraz Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Usman Qadir, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Afridi/Haris Rauf