Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Bulawayo

Butcher says slow scoring hurt Zimbabwe

ESPNcricinfo staff

September 8, 2011

Comments: 17 | Text size: A | A

Vusi Sibanda slog sweeps, Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Bulawayo, September 8, 2011
Vusi Sibanda's knock was a responsible one according to his coach © Zimbabwe Cricket
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Alan Butcher, the Zimbabwe coach, has said the crucial phase in his side's loss to Pakistan in the first ODI in Bulawayo was the one between the 10th and 20th overs of the chase, during which Zimbabwe scored only 30 runs. Zimbabwe were chasing 248 and got off to a solid start; but though they had lost only two wickets by the end of 20 overs, the asking-rate had already risen to 5.90 an over and kept climbing.

"The turning point was the period between 10 and 20 overs of our chase, when we only scored 30 runs," Butcher said. "We probably gave Mohammad Hafeez too much respect. One more run an over in that period and we'd have won before the last over." Hafeez conceded just 38 runs in his 10 overs, bowled in one spell.

With the asking-rate climbing, Tatenda Taibu and Brendan Taylor tried to score at a quicker pace, but Zimbabwe waited till the 43rd over, by which time Taibu had been dismissed, to take the batting Powerplay. They took 38 runs off it and Butcher said he was happy with their timing of it. "When Taylor and Taibu were batting together there were still a lot of overs to go. While they were there we felt we were well in touch. We were happy with when we took the Powerplay."

Though Zimbabwe fell five runs short in the chase, Butcher said there had been an improvement in their batting. "If you look back six months at the World Cup, we were struggling to get past 180 against Full Member nations [their highest score against a Full Member was 188 versus Sri Lanka]. To get 240 is progress and we're learning how to do it against the big teams

"We need to tweak a couple of things but we had two good innings today - a 70 [from Vusi Sibanda] and an 80 [from Taylor]. Vusi was a bit unlucky with the way he got out. If he had carried on it would have made a difference. He played a responsible knock."

Butcher said there were plenty of positives to take out of the game. "We did well to restrict them to less than 250 because at one stage, when Misbah-ul-haq and Younis [Khan] were in, it looked like 270 was going to be the target. When you get that close, you're always disappointed to lose, but we can definitely take positives as there were some high-quality performances from our players."

Zimbabwe went in to the game with a different combination from the one that had beaten Bangladesh 3-2 in the ODI series in August, playing just one specialist seamer to accommodate three spinners and a longer batting line-up. Butcher said the decision was made based on the reputation the Bulawayo pitch has as a spinning surface. "I think the decision was justified when you look at the score we restricted them to. The wicket played better than we thought it would; it did not spin as much as we expected and had a little more pace. Having a longer batting line-up is something we've been talking about for a while."

Brian Vitori, who started his ODI career by taking two five-wicket hauls in his first two games, against Bangladesh, was left out of the XI and Butcher said it was a tactical decision. He did, however, suggest Vitori could play a role when the action shifts to Harare for the second and third ODIs, and the two Twenty20s.

"Different conditions in Harare may make us think of a different attack. Vitori's omission today was tactical but I'm sure he will play a role in Harare. We hope he plays a similar role to the one he played against Bangladesh, taking wickets up front. Pakistan have a more solid batting line-up, so it is hard to expect him to have the same impact. Against better opposition he may have to work harder."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by debgwez on (September 10, 2011, 9:54 GMT)

zim has definetly improved.we only need a player who variety of shots in critical stages of the game eg the class of AB devilliers..we need VUSI or TAYLOR to step up their game...

Posted by Stark62 on (September 9, 2011, 13:13 GMT)

@ AndyZaltz

The second 11 of a team is supposed to compose of YOUNGSTERS!

As far as I know, Razzaq and Shezhad have been dropped. Afridi is retired and Shafiq is already there in the squad but can't get into the side (kinda stupid) which, means the only players being rested are Gul, Riaz and maybe Rehman (I doubt that).

Pak are pretty much playing their first 11 in terms of batting order but only two missing from the bowling dept and they nearly (should have) got beat.

Posted by tapchiss on (September 9, 2011, 11:21 GMT)

I dont think the current Pakistan side touring Zim is a second string side, i think it is a new-look pakistan and Zim is the nusually the best place to introduce new talent without reservation or fear that the decision will be costly because if the team looses you will then hide under the guise of lack of experience and similar rhetoric. We probably not gona see a player like Afridi in the pakistan lineup for long anywhere

Posted by khurramsch on (September 9, 2011, 9:34 GMT)

good game of cricket. cheema impressed in ODI debut as he did in tests. junaid was expensive early on but was good in last over. they should include RAMIZ instead of imran . whats the point of going with youngsters when u r not giving u enough in playing 11. in past we ve sen taht hamad azam & sadaf wasnt given enough in playing 11 & then not selected again. i think agian ZIM 1 of younis, misbah, umar, malik has to give way for any other younsgter.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2011, 5:36 GMT)

PAKISTAN win 1st ODI against ZIMBABWE. TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT. It also demonstrated the value of quality bowlers such as Afridi, Gul and Wahab who are not on this tour. I am not sure why Imran Farhat and Shoaib Malik were again included in the XI. These two are past their best. As we want to give chance to everyone in the squad for the 2nd ODI my team would be: 1. Hafeez; 2. Asad; 3. Younus; 4. Misbah; 5. Rameez; 6. Umar (W/K); 7. Yasir; 8. Tanvir; 9. Ajmal; 10. Sohail; 11. Aizaz. It is time they gave boys from Karachi a chance. Adnan has played well but should be rested to give exposure to all youngsters on the tour.

Posted by getsetgopk on (September 9, 2011, 4:12 GMT)

@AndyZaltzmannsHair The problem with that mixed test and odi squad is that they almost lost a match to 'Zimbabwe'. Haven't you begun to realize what that would have meant? Batting was very poor, with younus, msibah, shoaib, umar, hafeef in the side playing on a dead track non of them getting to a 100 that too against zim is poor, it was the bowling that 'saved' pakistan, one more hit and everything would have fallen apart.

Posted by   on (September 9, 2011, 2:06 GMT)

please give opinion on this side it looks very good....shoaib n hafiz then younis misbah umar then the best hitters ever afridi razzak kamran he can play really aggrasivlly then good telendrs likes of wahab, gul,ajmal...good bowling n strong looking batting please support this team....

Posted by   on (September 9, 2011, 0:40 GMT)

Zimbabwe went in to the game with a different combination from the one that had beaten Bangladesh 3-2 in the ODI series in August, playing just one specialist seamer to accommodate three spinners and a longer batting line-up. Butcher said the decision was made based on the reputation the Bulawayo pitch has as a spinning surface. "I think the decision was justified when you look at the score we restricted them to. The wicket played better than we thought it would; it did not spin as much as we expected and had a little more pace. Having a longer batting line-up is something we've been talking about for a while."

Posted by   on (September 8, 2011, 22:01 GMT)

I think zimbabwe have missed a golden oppurtunity to win a match, which was in their grasp untill the last three overs where pakistan showed their class. In harare I cannot see zimbabwe winning any match because the pakistan seam attack will run riot,as the conditions will suit their pace bowlers .

Posted by   on (September 8, 2011, 21:53 GMT)

That was a nice match overall. Yes, I think the same that it was the slow progress in the middle overs that made the difference. Keeping wickets is crucial but, Seriously, if you see any top class ODI teams, they have this ability to rotate the strike between the middle overs. You can not simply get into a shell and hoping to score above 7 runs per over consistently no matter how good you are. I think they will need to think about that. When I was observing the run-rate climbing up above 5 and half per over, I knew it will be very difficult to catch the run-rate later part of the innings. Other than that, Zimbabwe played excellent cricket. Pakistan looked good to score 280+ or may be 300+, but the way they bowled in the death overs was really admirable. Anyways, I was really sad to see taylor sad at the end of the match. They were really close to a memorable win, but being a Pakistani I was happy as well. As we know, one has to lose. But I love their fighting spirit really.

Posted by BUTT_093 on (September 8, 2011, 21:15 GMT)

All I can say is that Pakistan dodged a bullet today ! Had it not been for some circumspect periods of Zimbabwe's response, I think this match was theirs for the taking. Bad luck guys !

Posted by AndyZaltzmannsHair on (September 8, 2011, 20:58 GMT)

@Stark62: This is a second string Pak side. It's not the age, it's the inexperience as much as anything else. Pakistan also deliberately did not select a separate Test and ODI teams, opting instead for a merged squad of around 17 players, which is why the current ODI side looks so much different from the one that played in the WC. There's no Razzaq, Afridi, Shafiq, Gul, Riaz, Shehzad and Rehman in the team. The batting was also practically a Test batting line-up which is why they struggled in the death to hit the ball out of the park.

Posted by Rakim on (September 8, 2011, 20:47 GMT)

Heartful loss for Zim, Taylor played a good innings, but hey, so did YK and Misbah.

Anyways, Good luck next time Zim!!

Posted by EmjayKhan104 on (September 8, 2011, 20:34 GMT)

I think this was just a phase Pakistan is going through by introducing youngsters. I think next game Pakistan will be more positive and a much harder opposition as the seamers will come into play. I have seen the Zimbabwe team are ok with medium pace but when a fast or slow ball come around they panic and play too early or late. When Pakistan have full strength they are deadly as we have seen time and time again. But hats off to Zimbabwe they played Pakistan right down to the wire.

Posted by   on (September 8, 2011, 20:00 GMT)

pakistan always make hard to win but making interesting is specialty of pakistan GREAT GAME

Posted by Stark62 on (September 8, 2011, 18:40 GMT)

Yes, if Taylor had scored a tad bit quicker then, the game would have been in your hands.

Also, the average of the two teams in this match is: Pak= 28.8 (29) - Zimb= 27.3 (27)

That puts away the myth of "youngsters" playing for Pak!

This Pak team would have put the current (Pak) team to shame: Jamshed, Azhar, Shafiq, Yasin, Alam, Umar, Hammad, Afridi (cpt), Riaz, Gul, Ajmal. Average age= 25.4 (25)

Posted by Nduru on (September 8, 2011, 18:16 GMT)

Man, I've seldom been so gutted by a loss. I seriously thought we could do it when there were 50 to get, although it was frustrating when they were scoring too slowly before then. But I think Butcher is correct, we took Pakistan down to the wire, which is better than we have been doing against big teams. They were after all World Cup semi-finalists. Better luck next time. I hope Harare is more successful.

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