PESHAWAR: The first match of the five-match one-day international series between Pakistan and Zimbabwe will be played in Bulawayo today (Friday).
The match will begin at 12:15 (PST). Pakistan will be overwhelming favourites going into the game despite their poor recent ODI record. Pakistan have not won an ODI this year during their five appearances, but they will be favourites because of their strong team and weakened and inexperienced Zimbabwe team.
Pakistan will also be confident going into the ODI series after their victory in the recently concluded T20 tri series in Harare in which Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Australia featured. Pakistan will also be boosted with the arrival of Yasir Shah, Junaid Khan and Babar Azam in the squad.
On the other hand, Zimbabwe are quite inexperienced and three uncapped players have also been included in the squad to fill the gap created by unavailability of some main players due to different reasons.
Pakistan are currently No.5 on the ICC ODI rankings and they will have to win the five-match ODI series here by at least a margin of 4-1 or better to not fall further to sixth place.
Pakistan squad: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Babar Azam, Asif Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Usman Khan, Yasir Shah, Hasan Ali, Haris Sohail.
Zimbabwe: Hamilton Masakadza (c), Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Ryan Murray, Peter Moor, Tarisai Musakanda, Blessing Muzarabani, Liam Roche, Malcolm Waller, Brian Chari, Chamu Chibhabha, Elton Chigumbura, Tendai Chisoro, Tendai Chatara, Wellington Masakadza, Richard Ngarava, Donald Tiripano.