BULAWAYO, Saturday, September 15, 1991 — There is more than just national pride at stake in tomorrow’s one day international cricket encounter between Zimbabwe and the powerful Australia B at Bulawayo Athletic Club.
With Zimbabwe 1-0 up in the Astra-sponsored series of three one-day matches against the visitors, tomorrow’s clash holds in store the promise of a tense battle for supremacy as Dave Houghton’s men fight for a victory that would give them an unassailable 2-0 lead and wrap the series up in their favour.
Zimbabwe secured a handsome six-wicket win, in the first one-day encounter at Harare Sports Club last Sunday, and that performance holds them in good stead ahead of tomorrow’s match.
One worrying factor for the Zimbabwe selectors which delayed their announcing of the final line-up was the ankle injury sustained during practice last week by their key strike bowler, Eddo Brandes.
The beefy stalwart of the Zimbabwe bowling department, who also missed the first encounter last Sunday, was scheduled to undergo a late fitness test last night and the selectors were keeping their fingers crossed over the outcome.
Zimbabwe Cricket Union selector Babu Meman said yesterday afternoon the final line-up was being withheld pending the outcome of Brandes’ fitness test. There can be no doubt that Brandes’ absence would be a handicap for Zimbabwe’s attack, more so in the four-day “Test’’ match which starts in Bulawayo on Monday.
Last Sunday, a fiery John Traicos claimed four wickets for 20 in 10 overs to help Zimbabwe destroy the Australians’ middle order and swing the match in the hosts’ favour.
But with a galaxy of world-class batsmen arrayed against them, Dave Houghton’s men will see Brandes’ inclusion as a welcome boost for a gruelling week of cricket that lies ahead.