Chevrons to avoid white­wash

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Mehluli Sibanda South Africa in Johannesburg,

WITH five con­sec­u­tive de­feats on their lim­ited overs tour of South Africa, Zimbabwe will look to avoid be­ing com­pletely white­washed by the Pro­teas when the two teams meet in the fi­nal Twenty20 In­ter­na­tional cricket con­test at Wil­lo­moore Park in Benoni this af­ter­noon.

The Chevrons were white­washed by the Pro­teas in the three-match One Day In­ter­na­tional se­ries and are also in dan­ger of be­ing clean swept in the T20Is, that is if they do not claim a con­so­la­tion vic­tory in the fi­nal match of their trip to South Africa.

On Fri­day, Zimbabwe, showed some im­prove­ment all round, post­ing 132-7 in 20 overs but that proved not enough on a good bat­ting track with the Pro­teas los­ing just four wick­ets to win the match with 26 de­liv­er­ies to spare.

Left han­der, Sean Wil­liams top scored with 41 and went on to pick up two wick­ets for 25 in four overs while he was com­ple­mented. With the bat, Wil­liams was com­ple­mented by Bren­dan Tay­lor who made 29. The Pro­teas were not glam­orous at all but still man­aged to wrap up the se­ries with one fix­ture re­main­ing.

One thing that has been the talk­ing point for the whole of Zimbabwe’s tour of South Africa, the top or­der has failed to rise to the oc­ca­sions. Last Fri­day, Zimbabwe found them­selves at 35/5 in 6.2 overs and this is the kind of sit­u­a­tion that puts the mid­dle or­der un­der pres­sure. Wil­liams chal­lenged the bats­men to be wise with their shot se­lec­tion.

“Our top or­der, we re­ally got to start mak­ing bet­ter de­ci­sions up­front with the shot se­lec­tion that was the down­fall. We have been here for a while now, so there is ac­tu­ally no ex­cuse to keep throw­ing our wick­ets af­ter get­ting in.

With the T20I se­ries also lost, Wil­liams is of the view that the Chevrons have noth­ing to lose as they shift fo­cus to their tour of Bangladesh, where they take on the Tigers in three ODIs and two Tests. The first ODI is set for next Sun­day at the Shere Bangla Na­tional Sta­dium in Dhaka.

“Noth­ing to lose and ev­ery­thing to gain, lead­ing up to Bangladesh now, we’ve got to start think­ing about the guys in form car­ry­ing that form through up to that tour, we all know Bangladesh is a tough place to tour, Bangladesh at home, a lot of top teams have lost to Bangladesh in Bangladesh so hav­ing games against South Africa lead­ing up to that tour is a mas­sive op­por­tu­nity for the guys in form to take it through into that se­ries,’’ he said.

Chevrons coach Lalc­hand Ra­jput will cer­tainly ex­pect the likes of Wil­liams, skip­per Hamil­ton Masakadza, Tay­lor, Solomon Mire, Tari­sai Musakanda and Peter Moor to de­liver with the bat this af­ter­noon. The bowlers have just been marvelous, with Christo­pher Mpofu, Kyle Jarvis and Bran­don Mavuta play­ing their part, only to be let down by the bats­men.

Fans have also taken to so­cial me­dia to vent out their frus­tra­tions on the con­tin­ued se­lec­tion of for­mer skip­per El­ton Chigum­bura who is clearly off form but has played in ev­ery match on this tour. It is it to be seen if the ex cap­tain is given a run to­day or Neville Madziva comes in for him. The other change could see Welling­ton Masakadza come in for fel­low left arm spin­ner Tendai Chisoro, see­ing that the for­mer is head­ing to Bangladesh and the lat­ter is not go­ing on that tour.

— @Mdaw­ini_29

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