The Pakistan national cricket team arrived in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Thursday to face the African nation in a limited overs series for the second time this year, after their historic series in May when Zimbabwe traveled to Pakistan for five matches in Lahore — the first time since a 2009 terrorist attack that a visiting nation has played cricket inside Pakistan borders.
In that series, Paksitan and Zimbabwe played two T20 matches, and three one-day internationals — though the final ODI was rained out. But Pakistan won all four of the matches that the two teams managed to get in.
As part of the agreement between the two countries, Pakistan will now play a two-match T20 series in Zimbabwe, followed by a three-ODI set. And while most cricket observers believe that the Pakistan side, led by Shahid Afridi for the pair of T20 matches, will duplicate their results from Lahore four months ago, the Pakistan skipper says he and his team are taking the Zimbabwe challenge quite serioiusly.
“Zimbabwe might not be ranked among the top teams in the world but they remain a good side in limited-overs matches,” Afridi said earlier this week.
“The two matches we play against them will be an excellent opportunity for my players and team officials and we plan to use them as a launch pad for the T20 World Cup. We won’t take the matches lightly.”
Pakistan Coach Wakir Younis echoed the sentiments of his T20 captain.
“Zimbabwe has always been a competitive side to play against, especially when they are at home. We saw that when they came to Pakistan a few months ago and though they did not win a game they were always very good. There is no one player I can single out as a threat to Pakistan because they are all good, they play as a unit.”
The two T20 matches are scheduled for Sunday, September 27, at 1 p.m. local and Tuesday, September 29 at the same time. Both matches will be played in Harare. Fans in the United States can watch each match at 7 a.m. United States Eastern Time, 4 a.m. Pacific.
The best way to watch the Zimbabwe vs. Pakistan T20 International cricket series live online in the United States is through Willow TV, which is available via this YouTube link with a monthly subscription fee, as well as on Willow TV’s own site, accessible by clicking here.
But there are legal ways to watch Willow TV for free. Certain promotional offers make it possible to watch the all-cricket network, including the Zimbabwe vs. Pakistan ODI series, for a limited period of time, such as the offer at this link — or try the one-month free trial of Sling TV’s International Sports Package, which includes Willow. Information on that deal can be found at this link.
Viewers with access to Pakistan internet sites can watch the series live online from Zimbabwe via Geo Super TV by clicking here.
[Image: Chris Hyde / Getty Images]