'You're only as good as your last game'

HARARE - Zimbabwe and Midwest Rhinos batsman Vusi Sibanda believes a series of fine performances can be spoilt by a single bad one.

The Highfield-born opener has not taken long to settle in the new 2012-13 season, scoring a List A career-best score of 190 runs from just 157 balls to help Rhinos to a 100-run victory over Southern Rocks at Masvingo Sports Club in a mid-week Pro 50 match.

Sibanda (VS) talks to the Daily News On Sunday Sports Writer Austin Karonga (AK) on his goals, the disastrous World T20 held in Sri Lanka, the death of Mashonaland Eagles coach Kevin Curran and more. Below are excerpts of the interview:

(AK): You have opened the season in terrific form, what’s your personal target in the domestic franchise season?

(VS): My personal goal for this season is to spend more time at the crease. If I can achieve that then all will go well.

(AK): What was the feeling when you scored that magnificent century (190 runs from 157 balls) on your 29th birthday in the Pro 50 against Southern Rocks last Wednesday?

(VS): Oh yes, it’s always satisfying when you do well for your team. Putting up such a performance on my birthday was even more satisfying. It was a day well spent on the field.

 (AK): Was it that the bowlers didn’t bowl good lines or the wicket was a batting track?

(VS): The bowlers bowled well, considering the fact that we were 43-4 after 12.1 overs.

The wicket was not really a batting track but I had to take my chances and be positive and at the end of it all the technique paid off.

(AK): Riki Wessels and Gary Ballance won’t be playing for Midwest Rhinos this season, do you think you will be able to cope in their absence?

(VS): Wessels and Ballance are truly a loss for us and big boots to fill, but on a positive note it gives the younger guys some exposure while at the same time prompting the senior players to lead from the front even more and carry the team.

(AK): Midwest has had to endure a three-year trophy barren spell. Do you think you have what it takes this season to win the championship, and what does it take to achieve that?

(VS): Given that we perform consistently, yes we will. I mean we always play to win. It’s the belief and hunger for success that will carry us over the line.

(AK): Which franchise do you think will be difficult to beat this season?

(VS): Mountaineers and Eagles have the best sides on paper, but in my opinion it’s who does well on the day.

(AK): You have worked under the supervision of the late (former Zimbabwe and Mashonaland Eagles coach) Kevin Curran at some point, how did you receive the news of his death and what kind of an influence was he in your cricketing career?

(VS): Yes, Kevin was not only a coach to me. He was a friendly person who understood me well on and off the field. The news was very disturbing.

The feeling is unimaginable; he was such an ambitious man who always strived to do well for himself and people around him.

The times he served his country as a player and coach will always be remembered by many that fed off him. May his soul rest in peace.

(AK): Not the best of performances for you in the just-ended World Twenty20, the reason for the under par show?

(VS): The World T20 was disappointing, no doubt about that. We have no excuse for such a performance, but one thing for sure is that every encounter is always a learning curve for us.


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