Taylor bids Sri Lanka farewell

HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket captain Brendan Taylor bade farewell to his Sri Lankan counterparts on Sunday after Uthura Rudras crashed out of that country’s domestic Twenty20 Premier League tournament.

Despite Uthura winning their final match against Nagenahira Nagas by 15 runs in Colombo, it was only their second victory in six matches.

With only four points to their credit, they finished the group games in sixth place out of seven teams. The top four teams progressed to the semifinal stage.

Once again the country’s top order batsman and wicketkeeper Taylor failed to stamp his authority with the bat, scoring 10 runs from nine balls before he was trapped plum by off spinner Ajantha Mendis.

Taylor exits Sri Lanka with a high score of just 13 runs that he garnered on August 18 in a 32-run defeat to Kandurata Warriors. He had scored 10, zero, one and 12 runs in earlier matches.

The Zimbabwe captain has been a victim of both pace and spin bowling during his six-match stint in Sri Lanka. He was dismissed in four different fashions; he was run out, bowled, caught and leg before wicket.

In less than a month’s time he will be back in the sub-continent leading Zimbabwe in the ICC World Twenty20 that runs from September 18 to October 7. Zimbabwe is in Group C together with hosts Sri Lanka and neighbours South Africa.

The question is: Will Taylor iron out his areas of weakness in time for the opening match against Sri Lanka on September 18?

The good news for Taylor and Zimbabwe is that he has played against some of the key players who will be part of the upcoming event.

In the Sri Lankan domestic T20, , the Zimbabwean lost his wicket to three vital members of the host nation and these are off spinners Rangana Herath and Mendis and sling action bowler Lasith Malinga.

The yorking specialist Malinga clean bowled the Zimbabwe captain for 12 runs in a match that Ruhuna Royals won by 35 runs on August 14 while Herath had Taylor caught for one run but Uthura went on to win by four wickets, their first victory of  the campaign.

In a recent interview with the Daily News national team assistant coach Stephen Mangongo said Taylor’s participation in Sri Lanka would come in handy in the team’s preparations regardless of the lean spell the player went through.

“The most important aspect is that he has been able to travel there as our advance party to play in those conditions that we will be playing in next month and playing against some of the players that we will be facing as well,” Mangongo said.

“He is there to learn and assess and when he comes back he will be able to share with us his findings.” Spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan, left, looks on during  Brendan Taylor’s, centre, presentation as a Uthura Rudras player recently.

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