The Sunday News
Brandon Moyo, Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Select will go up against Pakistan ‘A’ today in the third one-day match at Harare Sports Club with one goal in mind, making it 3-0. However, a lot has to be done especially with the bat.
Going into the match as favorites due to the quality they possess on paper, the Zimbabwean top order has a lot to work on as they still look rusty with pressure piling up on them with each passing game. The Wellington Masakadza captained side has failed to bat out their 50 overs in the first two matches, being bowled out in 45,3 overs in the first game and 38,5 overs in the second, something that they will have to correct going into today’s encounter.
They have had the time to settle and wipe out the rust in the first two games and it’s now time to go and give out their best as they eye the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers. The top order’s batting displays leave a lot to be desired. Innocent Kaia, Wessly Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani and Craig Ervine have all looked out of touch in the first two games, thus, will have to bring their ‘A’ game. They have not yet performed up to their best, failing to set up a foundation for the middle order.
After struggling in the opening match, the woes continued on Friday with the first two wickets falling with just 10 runs on the board. Kaia and Madhevere fell for two and zero runs respectively. It was Ryan Burl, Clive Madande and Blessing Muzarabani who came to the rescue once again as the home side went on to score two more runs than in the first match, finishing on 236 runs.
More pressure on the bowlers once again to give their all while the batters have been misfiring. Zimbabwean bowlers have shown to be in good form, restricting their opponents to 156 runs all out to register a 80 runs win. For his 50 runs off 24 deliveries and 4/23 with the ball, Muzarabani was named player of the match.
Going into today’s match, a lot is expected with the bat, the star-studded Zimbabwean team should look to bat out their 50 overs and avoid losing wickets in the first powerplay which will give them a good foundation for a good score. They have one job, bat out the 50 overs, should they go in to bat first like the first two matches. The bowlers have shown that they can do the job, it’s now up to the batters to follow suit and give it their all.
The third 50-over game is scheduled to start at 9.30am at Harare Sports Club and a good performance will be a crucial confidence booster for the World Cup Qualifiers. The World Cup Qualifiers will see 10 teams competing for the two remaining places at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India later in the year. The matches will be staged across four venues in Harare and Bulawayo from 18 June to 9 July. — Follow on Twitter @brandon_malvin.