Sarfraz Ahmed's Pakistan look to regain winning momentum against beleaguered Zimbabwe

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Pakistan will look to get back to winning ways.

With the games coming thick and fast in the T20 tri-series, Pakistan will lock horns with hosts Zimbabwe for the second time when the two sides meet at the Harare Sports Club on Wednesday.

PAKISTAN BID TO RESUME WINNING RUN

The nine-wicket loss to the Aussies on Monday broke a run of eight consecutive wins for Sarfraz Ahmed’s men. The No1 ranked T20I side in the world have been in sublime form in the format for the past year or so and have gone on to win 20 out of the 24 matches they have played under Sarfraz’s captaincy.

Such has been their form that the loss against Australia seems like an aberration. However, it will also serve as a wake-up call for the men in green as it exposed a few chinks in the armor.

Pakistan's winning run was brought to a halt by the Aussies.

Pakistan’s winning run was brought to a halt by the Aussies.

HUSSAIN TALAT IN THE FIRING LINE

After scores of 41 and 63 in his first two T20 matches for Pakistan, it has all gone downhill for Hussain Talat. The 22-year-old batsman has been a part of the T20 squad for the past few months after some excellent displays in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). However, in his last four international innings, the left-hander has failed to cross the 20-run mark on each occasion.

Batting in the crucial No3 slot for Pakistan, Talat’s inability to play the big innings has been putting a lot of pressure on the batsmen to follow such as Sarfraz and Shoaib Malik. His failure against Australia on Monday could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and open the door to a Pakistan debut for fellow 22-year-old Sahibzada Farhan or the more experienced Haris Sohail.

Talat has been enduring a poor run with the bat.

Talat has been enduring a poor run with the bat.

BELEAGUERED HOSTS WEAKENED FURTHER

That Zimbabwe cricket is in turmoil is no secret. The ongoing dispute between the country’s cricketing body and the players has resulted in five top stars missing the T20 tri-series. The likes of Brendon Taylor, Sikandar Raza, Graeme Cramer, Craig Irvine and Sean Williams have all opted out of the series due to the non-payments of their salaries.

As if things weren’t already too bad for the Hamilton Masakadza led side, all-rounder Kyle Jarvis suffered a broken thumb in the opening clash against Pakistan and could be ruled out for the rest of the series.

The heavy defeat at the hands of Australia on Tuesday has only compounded the misery.

Kyle Jarvis will be a major loss to the hosts.

Kyle Jarvis will be a major loss to the hosts.

PAKISTAN WRESTLE WITH AMIR DILEMMA

Pace spearhead Mohammad Amir has finally been given some rest after not being picked in the side’s two clashes so far in the tournament. Nursing a chronic knee injury, the Pakistan pacer’s workload is being managed in the lead-up to the 2019 ICC World Cup.

However, in his absence, the likes of Usman Khan and Hasan Ali were unable to create much of an impact in the clash against Australia. While Zimbabwe should be a much easier test, Sarfraz might be tempted to throw on Amir for the clash in a bid to get him into match rhythm for the final should Pakistan progress.

Amir has not been called upon in the two matches so far.

Amir has not been called upon in the two matches so far.

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Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane proves his mettle in Global T20 Canada tournament

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Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane. Image: BCCI.

Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane roared back into form after a fine display for Montreal Tigers against the Vancouver Knights in the Global T20 Canada tournament on Monday.

Lamichhane finished with superb figures of 1-19 from his four overs as he helped restrict Vancouver to 166-6 in King City. However, Montreal batsmen failed to meet the challenge and were bowled out for 148.

It was good game for the 17-year Lamichhane at a personal level as he had been smashed for 57 runs in his first match against West Indies XI.

On Monday, Lamichhane was all over the Vancouver batsmen as the wicket was dry and allowed him to get the ball to grip and turn it square with pace.

He got West Indian batsman Chadwick Walton stumped with a ball that spun right across his swinging bat.

Lamichhane also became the first spinner to bowl a maiden over in the Global T20 Canada tournament. It extends an overall good run in T20s for Lamichhane who picked up five wickets from three games for IPL side Delhi Daredevils.

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Steve Smith and David Warner fail with the bat in Global T20 Canada clash

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Smith was dismissed for just three by Fidel Edwards.

Steve Smith and David Warner were both dismissed cheaply when their respective sides met in the Global T20 Canada on Monday.

Warner’s Winnipeg Hawks secured a 56-run win over Smith’s Toronto Nationals at the Maple Cricket Club in Toronto.

Warner, whose return to cricket with the Global T20 Canada hasn’t gone according to plan so far, made just one run before he was found short of his crease by a throw from New Zealand’s Anton Devich.

The former Australia vice captain has now scored only six runs in three innings in the tournament so far.

Smith’s leg-spin abilities were put to the test on Monday and he was on the receiving end of some punishment from West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo. The former Australia skipper was carted for four sixes in a single over by Bravo.

Warner was run-out for just one run as his poor run continued.

Warner was run-out for just one run as his poor run continued.

Led by knocks of 44 and 41 by Lendl Simmons and Bravo respectively, the Winnipeg Hawks posted 164-6 after batting first. In reply, the Nationals were bowled out for just 108 runs inside 18 overs as they fell to a heavy defeat.

Smith could only muster three runs from the 10 deliveries he faced before he was caught by David Miller off the bowling of Fidel Edwards. Tion Webster was the star with the ball for the Hawks, picking up four wickets in the 14 deliveries he bowled.

Both Smith and Warner were handed 12-month bans from international and domestic cricket by Cricket Australia following their roles in the ball-tampering episode which took place in Cape Town earlier this year.

The Global T20 Canada is the first time the pair has returned to competitive cricket since being handed the bans.

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