AFTER restricting Zimbabwe to a school-boy total of 136 runs in 36 overs, visiting Sri Lanka had a batting practice session under the bright
sun at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo to wrap up the second One-Day match in the 20th over for one wicket.
Attempts to mask the emasculated state of Zimbabwean cricket following controversy over racism and team selection issues collapsed yesterday as Zimbabwe struggled to contain the vastly more experienced visitors.
Sri Lanka won the toss and put the Zimbabwean greenhorns in to bat against an in-form attack of Chamida Vaas (4-38) and Muthir Muralitharan (4-32).
Zimbabwe were hugely outplayed by both bat and ball with three batsmen walking back to the pavilion for nought.
Youthful captain Tatenda Taibu gave the team a look-in with a brave 35 as Zimbabwean batters were all sent back after 36 overs.
The contest was over just after the lunch break when Sri Lanka reached 139 runs in 20,5 overs for the loss of one wicket.
Zimbabwe’s Test playing status, attained 11 years ago after a lot of hard work and maintained over the years through nurturing talent, is clearly under siege.
Yesterday’s result was a sure sign of things to come in the remaining three one-day bashes and two Tests matches against the Sri Lankans.
Three one-day matches and two Tests against the Sri Lankans remain.
lMeanwhile, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has launched a stinging attack on the Zimbabwe Cricket Union over its decision to sack captain Heath Streak and impose a “racist” selection policy on its national team.
“If the allegation that Zimbabwe cricket players are on strike because the ZCU is selecting players on the basis of race, that is disgraceful,” Downer told The Australian this week.
“Australia absolutely condemns racial profiling of the Zimbabwe national cricket team and the selection of national teams on the basis of race or because of the political opinions or positions of the players,” he said.
Downer’s remarks came as seven Australian players were last night considering whether to take their places in the squad selected to tour Zimbabwe next month after the leg-spinner Stuart MacGill announced he would not tour on moral grounds.