ZIMBABWE cricket is regressing. With their all-time low one-day series performance against visiting Pakistan, captain Hamilton Masakadza is worried about the state of cricket ahead of two dead rubber matches against the tourists Friday and Sunday in Bulawayo.

Wednesday’s performance by Zimbabwe, in which they suffered a nine-wicket annihilation ranks among the worst.

“A bit of a disaster really,” Masakadza said after Wednesday’s defeat.

“Today, we’ve gone quite a long way backwards, but these things happen in cricket. As a batting group, we have a lot of hard questions to ask ourselves.
“The main thing is to stay positive, because once you go in that direction and get down on yourself it’s very hard to come back.”

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed hailed “a great performance” by his lads after his team strolled to a series win.

Seamer Faheem Ashraf was the pick of a bristling Pakistani attack on a forgettable day for Zimbabwe cricket, taking a career best five for 22 as the hosts were all bundled out for a paltry 67.

Opener Fakhar Zaman then continued his good run of form to see Pakistan home in the 10th over with an unbeaten 43.

Prince Masvaure was caught out by a lifter from Usman Khan and Zimbabwe were under immediate pressure at 1 for 1.

The hosts were wobbling at 26 for 3 when Ashraf came on as first change in the 10th over, and he quickly had Peter Moor brilliantly caught in the slips by Babar Azam before trapping Chamu Chibhabha leg before wicket with a skidding full delivery.

He then had Elton Chigumbura caught behind and bowled Ryan Murray as Zimbabwe slipped to a perilous 54 for 8.

Tailenders Wellington Masakadza and Blessing Muzarabani clung on for seven overs, but legspinner Shadab Khan eventually removed Muzarabani with a googly and Ashraf then returned to end the innings with a pinpoint yorker.

Will Zimbabwe Cricket rise again after being hit by labour crisis which resulted in experienced players not participating in the ongoing series?
Batsman Malcom Waller withdrew from the team’s ODI squad citing, through correspondence between his lawyer and Zimbabwe Cricket, labour-practice concerns. Waller had been part of Zimbabwe’s squad for the T20 tri-series in Harare, playing in Zimbabwe’s last two games against Australia and Pakistan.

Waller did not take part in the ODI series against Pakistan in Bulawayo alongside seven other regulars. Injuries ruled out Kyle Jarvis and Solomon Mire, while five other players – including Brendan Taylor and former captain Graeme Cremer – were “unavailable” according to Zimbabwe’s convenor of selectors Walter Chawaguta.

ZC has been in financial crisis having had to postpone domestic tournaments and struggled to pay players and employees.