Zim feels the heat in UAE

HARARE - With the World Cup Qualifiers due in Zimbabwe next month the last thing any team needs at this point is losing preparatory matches and worse still against inferior opposition.

But that is the dilemma the senior men’s cricket team find themselves in after losing the two-match Twenty20 series and the opening One Day International against Afghanistan in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

Zimbabwe Cricket will host the 10-team qualifiers starting on March 4 across five venues; Harare Sports Club, Old Hararians, Queens Sports Club and Bulawayo Athletic Club in Bulawayo and Kwekwe Sports Club.

Only two teams will qualify for the 2019 World Cup to be hosted by England and Wales and among the top teams coming for these qualifiers are West Indies, Afghanistan and Ireland among the other teams.

Zimbabwe will have to be in the top two in order to make it to England and their current struggle with Afghanistan in UAE gives them sleepless nights as the count down to the qualifiers begins.

The local bowlers failed to contain the explosive Afghanistan batsmen after team captain Graeme Cremer had made inroads into the opponent’s top order grabbing three quick wickets.

They however, remained composed racing from 109 runs for the loss of three wickets to 333/5 in their allotted 50 overs going at a healthy run rate of 6.66 with only Cremer being the most successful and most economical Zimbabwean bowler with three wickets for 47 runs from 10 overs at 4.70 runs an over.

Seamer Kyle Jarvis picked one wicket for 77 runs from nine overs going at an expensive rate of 8.55 while off-spinner Sikandar Raza also claimed a single scalp for 58 runs in 10 overs. The rest of the other bowlers used in the match; Brian Vitori, Ryan Burl and Tendai Chatara all went above six runs an over.

The batting also some batsmen having starts but failing to convert them into big scores with opener Solomon Mire top scoring with 34 runs while Craig Ervine (33) and Raza (25) were next on the contribution ladder as Zimbabwe were bundled all-out for 179 runs in 34.4 overs to lose the match by 154 runs.
Cremer concedes pressure is on and nothing short of victory will be entertained in today’s second ODI.

“Yes, we need to start performing, we need some momentum going into the qualifiers and we will have to start with our next game here.

“Theirs is a lot of pressure on us, as this is a huge stage (hosting WC Qualifiers) in Zim’s cricket’s life and we won’t be taking that lightly,” Cremer tells the Daily News on Sunday from UAE yesterday.

“Our batting at the back end of this innings was a big concern but mostly our batting, guys not applying themselves as we know they can. We just need some goes to get in and score big- 20s and 30s don’t win you games.

“In bowling, our seamers had a tough day out and just did not execute plans as well as we would have liked but the good thing is they know where they went wrong and I’m sure they will justify that tomorrow (today).”

After today’s ODI they will still be three more games to play in the series before Zimbabwe returns home to fine-tune their preparations before their first warm-up encounter against Papua New Guinea on February 27.


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.