Taylor: Our death bowling let us down

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Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor was disappointed with his side's 90-run loss against Pakistan on Thursday, saying they would have stood a better chance if they'd had a clearer plan for bowling at the death.

Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor was disappointed with his side's 90-run loss against Pakistan on Thursday, saying they would have stood a better chance if they'd had a clearer plan for bowling at the death.

Pakistan made 299 in their 50 overs, with Mohammad Hafeez scoring a cracking unbeaten century, before the hosts were all out for 209. This win levelled the series for Pakistan, after they lost the first match by seven wickets.

Zimbabwe started well when bowling first, taking three relatively early wickets. But Hafeez and Umar Amin put on 129 runs together and then Shahid Afridi and Hafeez went at 12 to the over for the final seven overs.

The skipper conceded: "We started well, the first 20 overs were good [with Pakistan going] at three and a half an over, but we let them get 230 in the last 30 overs, so we weren't good enough today. They came back with a much better performance and we expected that.

"With them building sizeable partnerships, though, it was difficult at the death, with not a lot of margin for error. I think our bowlers missed our lengths and probably didn't have a clear enough plan like we had on Tuesday."

Taylor said they hadn't lost faith in the chase, especially just before his wicket fell with the score on 200. They lost their final five wickets for just nine runs, but Taylor said they had thought they could reach the target.

He said: "With their bowling attack, 300 was going to be difficult. It's always a challenge playing a world-class team, chasing 300 runs. But at one stage we were 200 for 4. We had wickets in hand, needing eight an over, with Elton [Chigumbura] still to come, anything was possible.

"It's important to have that self-belief that we can chase down any total and we've done that in the past against New Zealand, chasing 330. And the game we won on Tuesday certainly helped us believe in ourselves."

The final ODI will be played on Saturday, before the sides shift focus to the two-Test series. Taylor feels the win earlier this week, as well as a recovery of form by some key batsmen, will hold them in good stead.

Taylor said of the series decider: "New game on Saturday, we have to leave all this behind and find our best performers if we have to win. A change or two might work but we'll find that out tomorrow.

"It's important to instill confidence in the players, [have them] playing with freedom. If you go out there and you are uptight and nervous, you are freezing up at the crease, you're not going to be competitive.

"You need to take a few calculated risks in order to post a good total or chase down a total. It's about believing in your team-mates and instilling that confidence in them to go out there and do it because if they do play their best cricket, everyone can contribute to a winning performance."

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