The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE women were given some tough cricket lessons by their Bangladesh counterparts in a three-match One Day International series which concluded at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo last Monday.
Bangladesh won the first ODI by seven wickets, the second by nine wickets and third match by eight wickets to walk away with a 3-0 whitewash.
These lessons will come in handy when the Lady Chevrons go into battle in the International Cricket Council Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier, a 50-over cricket tournament which gets underway in Harare from today and runs up to 5 December.
Zimbabwe face off against Thailand in their opening fixture at Harare Sports Club before they meet the United States of America at Takashinga Cricket Club on Thursday. Pakistan are Zimbabwe’s next opponents when the two teams meet at Sunrise Sports Club on Saturday. Zimbabwe’s last group fixture is against Bangladesh at Old Hararians Sports Club on 29 November.
Lady Chevrons coach, Adam Chifo feels that they have done what had to be done in preparation for the qualifier. For Chifo, the series against Bangladesh gave them an idea of what to expect in the tournament.
“Going into such a big tournament there’s always a lot to do and you can never be satisfied but we are grateful that we have covered a lot of ground in our preparations. Bangladesh was an eye opener for us in terms of what to expect in the tournament, it will definitely not be an easy path but it’s very much possible it will all come down to how much we really want it on the day,’’ said Chifo.
There are no major injury worries for the Lady Chevrons, with the few concerns being niggles since the team has played lots of cricket over the last few months.
“Not at all but we are still managing a few niggles as we have played a lot of cricket in the last three months,’’ Chifo said.
Captain Mary-Anne Musonda described the mood in camp as being good with the players focused on the task at hand.
“The mood has been good. Everyone is focusing on the next couple of days. We really want to play our best and play hard cricket,’’ Musonda said.
On the series against Bangladesh, Musonda feels that it taught them to stay longer at the crease. Zimbabwe found the going tough with the bat against Tigress as they were bowled out for 72, 121 and 48.
“Biggest lesson was to occupy the crease a bit longer earlier on by having a solid defence when it comes to batting.”
Zimbabwe have been boosted by the return of opening batter, Sharne Mayers who returned for the series against Bangladesh having not played for the team since 2019. The tournament will be the final part of the qualification process for the 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup to be held in New Zealand early next year.
Zimbabwe women squad:
Mary-Anne Musonda (c), Christabel Chatonzwa, Francisca Chipare, Chiedza Dhururu (wicketkeeper), Nyasha Gwanzura, Precious Marange, Sharne Mayers, Audrey Mazvishaya, Esther Mbofana, Modester Mupachikwa (wicketkeeper), Nomatter Mutasa, Josephine Nkomo, Loryn Phiri, Nomvelo Sibanda, Loreen Tshuma.
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