Zimbabwe eyes improvement in T20I rankings

Zimbabwean cricketers take part in a net practice session at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore. — AFP

Zimbabwe will have one eye on the Reliance ICC T20I Rankings when it goes head to head with former ICC World Twenty20 champion Pakistan in Lahore on Friday and Sunday.

Zimbabwe is currently sitting in 12th position, 62 points adrift of fifth-ranked Pakistan, but can move to as high as ninth if it wins both the matches. Even one win in the series will be enough to push the African side ahead of the Netherlands in 11th spot.

Pakistan has to win both the matches to retain its fifth position. The gap of 62 points means Pakistan is expected to win the series convincingly.

The rankings are weighted to reflect this difference; failure to win the series 2-0 will mean that Pakistan will drop points.

In the case of a drawn series, Pakistan will drop two places to seventh spot on 109 points while it will plummet to 104 points if Zimbabwe wins both the matches.

Pakistan will earn one point if it sweeps the series.

In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for T20I Batsmen, Zimbabwe’s Hamilton Mazakadza is in 13th position but a couple of strong performances could potentially put him back inside the top 10.

Pakistan’s Ahmed Shehzad is in 15th position and trails Mazakadza by 22 points but will be aiming to improve his ranking along with team-mates Umar Akmal and Mohammad Hafeez, who are sitting in 20th and 22nd positions, respectively.

In the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for T20I Bowlers, Prosper Utseya and Hafeez feature inside the top 20, in 13th and 15th positions, respectively.

Pakistan, in Hafeez (second) and Shahid Afridi (third), boasts two players inside the top three in the all-rounders’ category. Elton Chigumbura, in 25th position, is Zimbabwe’s highest-ranked all-rounder.

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