Zim eye series win

HARARE - Zimbabwe's cricket team hopes to seal their first ODI series win since 2013 when they take on New Zealand in the second match at Harare Sports Club today.

The hosts defied odds to beat New Zealand by seven wickets in the first match of the series on Sunday after batsman Craig Ervine starred with the bat.

With that win, Zimbabwe now carry a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series and another victory today will give the side their first ODI series win since 2013 when they beat Bangladesh at home.

After being asked to bat first, the Black Caps set Zimbabwe a competitive total of 303-4 after 50 overs.

With Zimbabwe’s struggles of chasing totals of 250+ well-documented not many people gave the home side a chance of reaching the target.

Openers Chamu Chibhabha (42) and Hamilton Masakadza (84) put up a first wicket partnership worth 74 runs to get the Zimbabwe chase off to a perfect start.

Ervine carried the hosts over the finish line with his maiden ODI century with a career best 130 off 108 deliveries as Zimbabwe reached 304-3.

On the eve of the series, new Zimbabwe Cricket convenor of selectors Kenyon Ziehl, who took over from Givemore Makoni last week, emphasised on the need to win the first game as well as making winning a culture before the series got underway.

This is exactly what the team did with a solid performance with the bat, ball and in the field.

Ervine, named man-of-the-match after the first ODI, is confident Zimbabwe has what it takes to seal the series win starting with today’s encounter.

“I think we definitely do (have chances of winning this match and series) and I think we have started off on a good note, so, hopefully we can put two or three more good performances together and come out on top,” he said.

“I think it (wining the first match on Sunday) will give guys a lot more energy getting into the rest of the series because we obviously won the first game as opposed to losing the first one.

“Winning the first one should help the guys to relax a little bit more and play a bit freer in the next two games.”

Having struggled for form since his second dance with the national team following his return before the 2015 World Cup, Ervine admitted that he was under a lot of pressure to perform.

“I did feel a bit under pressure but I did feel that playing the one day games gave me a bit of time, especially batting at three, it definitely gives me a bit more time to get myself in and build an innings which is exactly what I did today (Sunday),” he said.

“So that’s what I’m really happy about that I was able to build an innings and my role was to bat through an innings and I feel so happy that I have managed to tick all those boxes with the team.

“I think it’s more about communication up on the middle between the two batters. When I was batting with Hami (Masakadza), we tended to communicate quite well trying to work hard where we can get our boundaries from and where we can get the singles from.

“We managed to do that well which obviously helps because we set the platform for the guys coming in.”

New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor, who top-scored for the visitors with 112 not out from 122 deliveries, feels they are now under pressure to bounce back in today’s ODI.

“Anytime you go one-nil down in a three-match series you are under pressure and obviously Zimbabwe always play very well at home but we will analyse it and come back better (today) but we still have to give credit to Zimbabwe, they played a lot better than us,” he said.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.