Zimbabwe in must-win match against Windies
ZIMBABWE go up against West Indies in the sixth and final preliminary fixture of the triangular One Day International cricket challenge today with a place in Sunday’s final at stake.
The winner of today’s contest will meet Sri Lanka who booked their spot Sunday’s final with a one run victory over West Indies on Wednesday.
While they defeated Sri Lanka by 62 runs to secure a bonus point in the second match of the series at Harare Sports Club, West Indies have had the inexperience in their batting line up exposed in the two matches they played at Queens Sports Club.
Last Saturday, the Calypso Kings failed to get four runs in the last over against Zimbabwe in a match that ended in a tie.
On Wednesday, they again fell short in their run chase against Sri Lanka, something skipper Jason Holder attributed to lack of experience in their batting line up.
“I think inexperience there is obviously situations where we are not accustomed being in, it’s still a relatively young side. Everybody is trying to make a mark and I think it boils down to inexperience having that knowhow in the end to get us across the line. We were set in the beginning quite nicely, Evin Lewis played an exceptional knock to put us in a situation that we were in but unfortunately we were not able to pull this off,’’ said Holder.
Zimbabwe coach Heath Streak is well aware that a win guarantees them a place in the final while a loss means that they are reduced to spectators on Sunday.
Streak described today’s encounter as a semi-final since the winner goes on to play in the decider. He feels that they should have scored about 270 when they played West Indies last Saturday.
“Whoever wins out of these two teams is in the final. We want to win, we have to play to win, lots of things to improve from the last game, we should have gotten 270, we lost wickets at the end which slowed us down,’’ said Streak.
There have been calls for either Chamunorwa Chibhabha or Brian Chari to be axed as the openers have not given Zimbabwe a good platform upfront with yet to be capped Tarisai Musakanda being suggested as an option.
Streak, however, believes that Musakanda is not an opening alternative at this stage.
It is yet to be seen if Musakanda earns his international debut against West Indies today and who makes way for him.
Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams, Elton Chigumbura, Peter Moor hold the key with the bat for Zimbabwe. Christopher Mpofu, Donald Tiripano, skipper Graeme Cremer, Tendai Chisoro and Williams carry the hopes for the home team with the ball.
For the tourists, their high expectation with the bat are in Evin Lewis who cramped his way to 148 against Sri Lanka, Shai Hope the scorer of a century when they met Zimbabwe, Johnson Charles, Kraigg Brathwaite and Rovman Powell.
Holder is expected to spearhead the bowling attack with the aid of Shannon Gabriel, Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse and Jonathan Carter. — @Mdawini_29