As the final leg of Pakistan's tour of Zimbabwe begins on Friday, both sides will approach the first of two Twenty20 Internationals in Harare with different ambitions.
Zimbabwe have lost the preceding one-off Test and three-match one-day series to Pakistan, and will be desperate to turn things around in the shortest format of the game. Meanwhile, Pakistan will continue to use the games to give their unproven players further experience.
History does not bode well for Zimbabwe, their recent losses to Pakistan apart. Zimbabwe have won just three of the 14 T20s they have played, with Pakistan winning the one and only such match between the two sides by seven wickets in October 2008. In fact, the African side has very little experience in the T20 format, having played their last international match nearly a year ago, in October 2010.
Perhaps surprisingly, Zimbabwe acquitted themselves rather well in the one-off Test, notwithstanding the eventual defeat. However, despite threatening briefly, they were outplayed in all departments of the game by Pakistan in the ODI series. The batsmen struggled to adapt in the middle overs and score quick runs, even though Zimbabwe managed to score over 220 runs in each of the three matches. Coach Alan Butcher has suggested the fear of a collapse held them back, but with few such worries in the 20-over game, Zimbabwe will need to be more aggressive to stand a chance against Pakistan’s bowling attack.