Chevrons des­per­ate to level se­ries

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Mehluli Sibanda in POTCHEF­STROOM, South Africa

ZIM­BABWE are look­ing to their top or­der to fi­nally come to the party and fire up­front in their quest to level the Twenty20 In­ter­na­tional se­ries when they clash with South Africa in the sec­ond Twenty20 In­ter­na­tional at Sen­wes Park in Potchef­stroom this evening.

While the bowlers were bril­liant on Tues­day, keep­ing the Proteas to a not so chal­leng­ing 160-6 in 20 overs, the top or­der did not come to the party, with the Chevrons at 11/3 within the open­ing four overs of their in­nings, which spoiled their chances of a suc­cess­ful run chase.

Peter Moor and Bran­don Mavuta were left try­ing to undo the dam­age caused by the top or­der with the two young­sters pulling Zim­babwe close to beat­ing the Proteas for the first time in T20Is. Moor top scored with a 21-ball 44, his best score in this ver­sion of the game while Mavuta made 28 off 14 with their dis­missals spark­ing the end of any hope for the Chevrons.

Skip­per Hamil­ton Masakadza yes­ter­day felt that the top or­der bats­men have hur­ried their in­nings, which has led to their down­fall. He called for a bet­ter ap­proach for for­tunes of the top or­der to im­prove.

“I think guys (should) give them­selves a lit­tle more time up­front, I think guys have been a lit­tle bit rushed or have rushed them­selves a lit­tle bit so that plus slightly bet­ter ex­e­cu­tion and I think the top or­der should go a lit­tle bet­ter,’’ Masakadza said.

See­ing that bowlers have done well, Masakadza be­lieves that a much bet­ter ef­fort from the bats­men will cer­tainly put the Chevrons in a much bet­ter po­si­tion to level the se­ries.

“A much big­ger ef­fort from the bat­ters, the bowlers have re­ally held their own but the bat­ters re­ally haven’t re­ally come to the party on this tour, just to get a few more up­front and few more from the top three I think we should go a lit­tle bet­ter from there,’’ he said.

Zim­babwe will with­out a doubt look to build on their per­for­mance from Tues­day in their quest to keep the se­ries alive.

“Def­i­nitely I thought they were a few good signs in that game al­though the top or­der didn’t fire but the guys to­wards the back hung around a bit es­pe­cially the way Peter bat­ted so we just look­ing to build on that and add to what those guys gave us,’’ Masakadza said.

The Zim­bab­weans have crum­bled when­ever they are fac­ing up to leg spin­ner Im­ran Tahir who picked up five for 23 on Tues­day. Masakadza is of the view that while the vet­eran spin­ner has bowled well, they have not faced up to him the way they should have.

“In all fair­ness I think he has bowled well but at the same time I don’t think we have played him as much as we could have, we have played him be­fore and played him much bet­ter than we have now, so it’s just a mat­ter of guys go­ing back and go­ing through the things that they did when they played him well and ob­vi­ously putting these few games be­hind us.”

It is yet to be seen if Zim­babwe will make changes to the team which played on Tues­day. The con­tentious is­sue is the con­tin­ued se­lec­tion of strug­gling former skip­per El­ton Chigum­bura who has not re­ally con­trib­uted much with the bat with two ducks in his last three in­nings. If coach Lalc­hand Ra­jput is not keen to al­ter the top or­der, he could bring in Solomon Mire in the mid­dle with Neville Madziva an­other op­tion.

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