Watch live online as Zimbabwe plays the final match of its Pakistan tour Sunday — defying terrorists who attempted to ruin the return of international cricket to the country, in a suicide bomb attack on a road outside Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore during the second One Day International match between the two national cricket teams Friday night.
Zimbabwe's team managers announced that they were satisfied with stepped-up security forces protecting the players, and that, as a result the third and final ODI match, wrapping up the historic tour would go ahead as scheduled — starting at 4 p.m. in Lahore (7 a.m. United States Eastern Time, 4 a.m. Pacific).
To watch the Zimbabwe vs. Pakistan Third ODI live online, see the information at the bottom of this article.
The explosion went off at about 9 p.m. Friday near Kalma Chowk, one of the busiest traffic intersections in Lahore. A police officer died along with the alleged suicide bomber, and four civilians were injured.
Police Sunday continued to insist that the blast, which could be heard inside the stadium about a mile away, was the result of a gasoline cannister on a rickshaw accidentally igniting.
But Pakistan Information Minister Pervez Rasheed confirmed that the blast was indeed a terrorist attack, and praised, "the gallantry of a police official, who lost his life while trying to stop the attacker near Kalma Chowk."
Pakistan Cricket Board officials criticized Rasheed for his announcement that a terrorist attack had taken place. No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, though Pakistan's branch of the Taliban has previously carried out suicide bomb attacks in civilian areas.
"It is so embarrassing and we fear now that all the hard work we put into making this tour possible could go waste," said one unnamed official, according to the Cricket Country news site. "The timing of the minister's statement was not right. We wanted to talk about it after the Zimbabwe cricket team returned home on Monday."
The Pakistan government quickly orchestrated a media blackout, and news outlets in the country withheld reports on the terror attack until Friday's cricket match concluded, in order to avoid a panic in the sold-out stadium, officials said.
With both Zimbabwe and Pakistan players and officials bravely deciding to finish the cricket series, the Third ODI offers the visitors their final chance to return home with a victory. Pakistan swept both Twenty20 matches and the two ODI matches played so far.
India-based website CricHD will stream the Third ODI at this link, but fans who choose that option will have to put up with numerous advertisements that often cause slowdowns when viewing online. The best way to watch the final Zimbabwe vs. Pakistan cricket match 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 match line online via Geo Super TV by clicking here.
[Image via Dawn.com]