Life goes on - Vusi Sibanda

HARARE - After a disappointing week in week he was left out of Zimbabwe’s 2015 Cricket World Cup squad, Vusi Sibanda answered critics the best way he knows how by scoring runs.

The 31-year-old was in outstanding form as he scored a blistering 99 off 101 to help Zimbabwe A beat Canada by seven wickets in the third match of the four-match one-day series.  

Sibanda was dropped from the 15-man Zimbabwe squad for the tournament that starts in Australia and New Zealand next month after a nightmare tour of Bangladesh last year.

The Highfield-born opener recorded scores of 0, 21, 9, 17 and 37 in the five ODIs as Zimbabwe was crashed 5-0 by the Tigers.

Yesterday, Sibanda walked onto the Harare Sports Club crease for the first time since the World Cup snub and would have felt hard done to learn that his near perfect knock came too little too late.

His compatriots in the Zimbabwe A, fellow opener Chamu Chibhabha, batsman Stuart Matsikenyeri and all-rounder Tawanda Mupariwa negotiated their into the World Cup squad with impressive performances during the first match of the current series.

This was ironically the same day the selectors were locked in meetings at the chairman’s enclosure at the venue deliberating on the squad.

Chibhabha scored 155 runs, Matsikenyeri managed 50 while Mupariwa picked four wickets with the ball in the first 50 overs match.

“It’s not gonna make much of a difference anyway,” Sibanda said after his match-winning performance yesterday.

“I’m just gonna move on with my life and just gonna make sure that I keep playing well.”

Sibanda indeed played well yesterday reaching his half century in just 55 and did not raise his bat to acknowledge the mall crowd an apparent dig at his detractors.

“One thing I know for sure is that there have been a lot of people that have been speaking negative things about me but I know myself, I know my game and I will just go out there and just enjoy it,” he said.

“I will just enjoy my game and play to the best of my ability. I will just keep doing what I have been doing I don’t think I will need to change anything.

“I really don’t have many words to be honest; it is what it is at the end of the day, those people who do not believe in me have seen my other side.

“There’s always pressure when you play I will be lying to you if I say there’s no pressure. Cricket is full of ups and downs if you don’t see the downside of things you will not learn.

“What matters most is that you believe in yourself and this will help the other people to believe in you.”

Sibanda was finally clean bowled by leg-spinner Ruvindu Gunasekera for a well-played 99 with Zimbabwe A needing just three runs to win.

The hosts had won the toss for the first time in this series and elected to bat before their bowlers restricted Canada to 182 all out after 49.2 overs.

Zimbabwe A captain Prosper Utseya claimed two wickets in two balls but missed on a hat-trick. He finished the match with three wickets for 21 runs from 10 overs.

Seamer Cuthbert Musoko was the pick of Zimbabwe A bowlers with four wickets for 33 runs from 7.2 overs while medium pacer Luke Jongwe picked up two wickets.

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