Zim bemoans washed-out match

HARARE - Zimbabwe Cricket team’s opening warm up encounter against Ireland was abandoned without a ball bowled at Queens Sports Club on Tuesday owing to bad weather and in the process depriving both sides of much-needed match practice.

The International Cricket Council World Cup Qualifiers featuring 10 teams all vying for the remaining two slots for next year’s world cup in England get underway on Sunday in three cities Harare, Bulawayo and Kwekwe.

Harare will use Harare Sports Club and Old Hararians while Bulawayo has Queens Sports Club and Bulawayo Athletic Club with Kwekwe Sports Club being the fifth venue that will be used for the qualifiers.

Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer expressed disappointment at missing out on game time but remains hopeful that their final preparatory match against Papua New Guinea will go through at the same venue this morning.

The locals begin their campaign with a date against minnows Nepal on Sunday.

“The match was abandoned and it was very disappointing.

“It was called off at 11am so instead of waiting around, we went to practise,” Cremer told the Daily News from Bulawayo yesterday.

“It does have an impact on us as we know there is nothing like game time but it’s something we cannot control so we will continue to practise as best as we can.”

While the locals resorted to the nets for practice, back in Harare Zimbabwe’s Group B counterparts and emerging stars Afghanistan made a bold statement of their intentions to make to England with a 23-run win over fading giants West Indies in another warm-up encounter played at Harare Sports Club.

Afghanistan batted first and laboured to 163/9 in 35 overs after recovering from 71/8 in the rain reduced match buoyed by Gulbadin Naib’s 48 from 38 balls at tail and Samiullah Shenwari’s unbeaten 42 runs while West Indie’s’ left-arm seamer Sheldon Cottrell picked three wickets for 43 runs in seven overs.

Afghanistan then picked West Indies’ big fish, opening batsman Chris Gayle early in the chase for nine runs, his fellow opener Evin Samuels scored 36 runs while Marlon Samuels weighed in with 34 runs but it was not enough to get their team over the line after they were bowled out for 110 runs inside 26,4 overs.

Zimbabwe Squad:

Graeme Cremer (captain), Tendai Chatara, Tendai Chisoro, Craig Ervine, Kyle Jarvis, Hamilton Masakadza, Solomon Mire, Peter Moor, Blessing Muzarabani, Sikandar Raza, Brendan Taylor, Brian Vitori, Malcolm Waller, Sean Williams and Cephas Zhuwao. . Heath Streak (coach)

Zimbabwe Group B Qualifiers Fixture:

Zimbabwe v Nepal (March 4)

Zimbabwe v Afghanistan (March 6)

Zimbabwe v Hong Kong (March 10)

Zimbabwe v Scotland (March 12)

Teams for the ICC World Cup Qualifiers:

Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, United Arab Emirates, West Indies and Zimbabwe

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