Chevrons disappoint in opener

HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket team’s slide continued yesterday when they fell to a 13-run defeat at the hands of Pakistan in their opening Twenty20 encounter.

The defeat does not give a true reflection of the team’s struggles with the bat.

Had the visitors, whose fielding was quite encouraging, had been very clinical, they could have even won the match by even half their total.

Zimbabwe limited overs captain Elton Chigumbura lost the toss and were put to field first after the Asian side elected to bat first on a slow wicket with a lot of assists for the spinners and medium pacers.

Pakistan did not know what hit them after they struggled to build partnerships on their way to a modest 136 runs for the loss of eight wickets with the local bowlers tightening screws to give their batsmen a realistic target to chase.

Shoaib Malik top scored for Pakistan with 35 runs from 24 balls, batting at number four. Wicketkeeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan weighed in with an unbeaten 32-ball 33 runs while tail ender Imad Wasim came in handy with a vital 19 runs from just 12 balls.

Zimbabwe medium seamer Chamu Chibhabha utilised the slow pitch conditions well for his three wickets for 18 runs from his three-over spell.

Fellow seamers, Tinashe Panyangara and T20 debutant Luke Jongwe picked a wicket apiece so did spinners Graeme Cremer and Sean Williams.

The bowlers excellently went about their business with sheer expertise and by the sixth over Chibhabha had already completed his three-wicket haul. He clean-bowled Pakistan opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad for 17 runs after 3.4 overs with the visitors still on 21 runs. Mukhtar Ahmed lost two deliveries later for four runs after he was caught by Hamilton Masakadza while number three batsman Sohaib Maqsood (6) departed in the sixth over in the same fashion as Shehzad as the visitors remained grounded on 29-3.

The scoreboard soon changed to 71-4, 87-5, 133-6, 136-7 and 136-8 in the visitors’ allotted 20 overs.

With a seemingly easy target of 137 to win the match, Zimbabwe’s chase got off to a horrible start with star bowler Chibhabha failing to make his performance count with the bat as he was bowled for a two-ball duck on the last ball of the first over by slow left arm bowler Imad Wasim who opened the bowling for Pakistan.

Craig Ervine who had shown terrific form leading into this series was trapped plum by left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir in the sixth over for 11 runs to leave Zimbabwe on 27 runs for the loss (of) two wickets.

Chigumbura with 31 runs not out provided a bit of resistance but it was too little to force a win that was to be given away through a pathetic batting display.

The Zimbabwe skipper said they were outdone by losing too many wickets during the chase.

“It was a good score to chase down. We lost too many wickets at the end. It’s disappointing to lose a game like this.

“The wicket was a bit slow and difficult but requiring six runs an over, it was good to bat on. We have come close on many occasions but we are just losing.”

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi who himself contributed two runs before falling to a stunning diving catch from Chibhabha off Panyangara’s bowling, gave credit to his bowlers after the batsmen struggled with the bat.

“We didn’t play according to the plan. Credit goes to the bowlers. It was a 160-170 pitch but we just did not bat well.

The bowlers used the pitch and I am very happy with the bowlers especially Imran Khan (debutant) in the last over. The batsmen need to take up their responsibility.”

The second and decisive T20 encounter is set for Harare Sports Club tomorrow before the focus switches to the three One Day International series on Thursday.

Comments (2)

we desperately need new talent.These guys have tried and failed.What more do you need guys seriously.Look at their averages.How do you get to stay in a team with an average of less than 35 batting at top 4 having played more than 50 matches????are we saying we dont have talent as a nation or what.In sone other nations you are given a chance to prove yourself and once you dont grab that opportunity thats it.Look at Quinton De kock from SA,still young way younger than most of our guys and has less experience but already he is ranked way better than all of our batsmen and he was recently dropped because of poor form.These boys are just not good enough.You cant teach an old dog new tricks never.

hills - 29 September 2015

its time to start afresh with the under 19s and keep only 3/4 senior players

sky - 29 September 2015

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