Taylor relishes leading role

HARARE - Tomorrow the Zimbabwe cricket team pack their bags for the ICC World Twenty20 tournament that will run from September 18 to October 7 in Sri Lanka.

Upon arrival, Zimbabwe, who are in Group C together with the hosts and neighbouring South Africa, will get the feel of the Sri Lankan wickets by playing a warm-up match against affiliate member Bangladesh on Thursday.

The team will then get down to serious business by engaging Sri Lanka in their campaign opener on September 18 before playing South Africa two days later.

Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor is aware of the role expected of him together with fellow top order batsman Hamilton Masakadza.

The two front men architected Zimbabwe’s famous nine-wicket victory over the Proteas last June during a tri-series that also featured Bangladesh.

“I’m, equally aware of the responsibility thrust on our shoulders because of the way we have played together in the past,” Taylor told the Daily News on Sunday.

“Hamilton has been in form of his life, it’s a pity we didn’t get as many games to keep on the momentum but I hope that he can carry that form to the World T20.

“Ideally if we can get all the departments right then we give ourselves a great chance of progressing in the tournament. But the team doesn’t comprise two people, I’m really pleased with the way Vusi Sibanda and Elton Chigumbura have been hitting the ball in practise, at the end of the day it requires every player’s input, that’s what team effort is all about.”

The Zimbabwe team in 2007 managed to beat the World Champions Australia by five wickets at the inception of the T20 championships that took place in South Africa.

Taylor finished unbeaten with 64 runs from 46 deliveries seeing his team home with a ball remaining.
Off-spinner Prosper Utseya was the captain back then.

Australia batted first and scored 138-9 before Zimbabwe chased down the target in 19.5 overs to reach 139-5.

Masakadza contributed 27 runs from 28 balls batting in the middle order while Sibanda who opened the batting with Taylor scored 23 runs from 15 deliveries.

Chigumbura took three wickets for 20 runs in three overs.Brendan Taylor, left, and Hamilton Masakadza will lead Zimbabwe from the front at the ICC Twenty20 World cup tournament in Sri Lanka.

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