Zim needs miracle to save blushes

HARARE - It seems that no matter the sport, Zimbabwean teams always find themselves having to qualify for major events, or even to progress to the next round that much harder than most teams.

Naturally, the team’s five wicket win over the Netherlands on Wednesday was a massive relief, as it kept the hopes alive of qualifying for the Super 10 of the ICC World Twenty20.

But Zimbabwe did themselves no favour by leaving it to the very last ball of the match before scoring the winning runs.

Ireland who made it two from two after a 21-run win over the UAE seem like the team who will qualify, and to be brutally honest, they richly deserve to go through.

The only team who seemingly stand in their way are the Netherlands, who made short work of the UAE on Monday.

Today’s matches are of the utmost importance for Zimbabwe.

Brendan Taylor and his players need to understand that caution must be thrown to the wind so to speak, as the only way they can qualify for the next round is to crush the UAE by a considerable margin, and then hope that the Netherlands beat Ireland.

The reason why both Zimbabwe and the Netherlands have to win convincingly is to determine the net run rates.

Ireland are by far the superior team, with a net run rate of 0.641 while Zimbabwe find themselves with a net run rate of 0.125.

Clearly the Andrew Waller-coached team have a massive mountain to climb, and need to pin their hopes on the Netherlands to pull off an upset, in order for them to join the big guns.

The general observation amongst former players, journalists and hard core fans is that the hunger and winning spirit seems to be lacking from this current team.

It does however need to be made abundantly clear that the team most certainly do want to win, but something is missing.

They seem to be like a car running on four cylinders, instead of eight cylinders, showing short bursts of speed before subsiding to nothing more than the chugging of a steam locomotive.

Brendan Taylor, with scores of 59 and 49 ?respectively, has been the country’s most consistent batsman, but, it was also encouraging to see Hamilton Masakadza chipping in with 43 against the Netherlands.

What the team need to try and do is to continue with the momentum after the power play by rotating the strike, and pouncing on the bad ball, and not allow the spinners to settle on a good length.

Zimbabwe undoubtedly have their work cut out, and whether they can rise to the challenge, and beat the odds that are so heavily stacked against them remains to be seen.

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