Brendan Taylor has put Zimbabwe's loss to Pakistan in the second one-dayer primarily down to not having a "clear enough" death-bowling plan. In their historic win on Tuesday, when they restricted Pakistan to a much more gettable 244, Taylor said the bowlers had executed better at the end of the innings, whereas on Thursday they "missed their lengths".
"We started well, the first 20 overs were good [with Pakistan going] at three and a half an over, but we let them get 230 in the last 30 overs, so we weren't good enough today. They came back with a much better performance and we expected that. With them building sizeable partnerships, though, it was difficult at the death, with not a lot of margin for error. I think our bowlers missed our lengths and probably didn't have a clear enough plan like we had on Tuesday."
Chasing 300 against an attack of Pakistan's quality is never easy, Taylor said, but the previous victory had boosted Zimbabwe's confidence enough so that they always thought they were in with a chance. "With their bowling attack, 300 was going to be difficult. It's always a challenge playing a world-class team, chasing 300 runs. But at one stage we were 200 for 4. We had wickets in hand, needing eight an over, with Elton [Chigumbura] still to come, anything was possible.
"It's important to have that self-belief that we can chase down any total and we've done that in the past against New Zealand, chasing 330. And the game we won on Tuesday certainly helped us believe in ourselves."
Pakistan's win means the third ODI, on Saturday, will be a series decider. Taylor said he'll back his team to play with freedom in that game, though they might need to tweak the line-up for it. "New game on Saturday, we have to leave all this behind and find our best performers if we have to win. A change or two might work but we'll find that out tomorrow.
"It's important to instill confidence in the players, [have them] playing with freedom. If you go out there and you are uptight and nervous, you are freezing up at the crease, you're not going to be competitive. You need to take a few calculated risks in order to post a good total or chase down a total. It's about believing in your team-mates and instilling that confidence in them to go out there and do it because if they do play their best cricket, everyone can contribute to a winning performance."